Manta Matcher

Marine Manta Rays all have a unique identifier: the pattern of spots on their bellies, as unique as a human fingerprint. Using a computer vision algorithm similar to facial recognition software, Manta Matcher identifies unique manta rays from a simple photo. Citizen scientists snap a picture or take a video of a manta’s underbelly with their smartphone, and submit it to Manta Matcher, which then distributes the photos to its network of scientists who quality check and verify the data. After the submission is verified, the photo of the manta’s spots are run through an algorithm that uses computer vision to cross-reference the pattern across an extensive database, finding a match or adding the manta as a new and unique addition. Since inception in 2014, over 130 citizen scientists have identified almost 11,000 manta rays, collected through almost 37,000 interactions, with additional initiatives, like “adopting a manta” to engage citizen scientists passionate about mantas and their conservation.


Biodiversity, Citizen Science, Data, Ecological Monitoring, Visual Technologies