Baja California is visited every year by a multitude of migratory species.
Of these one in particular has become world renowned, twice a year this Peninsula plays host to gigantic schools of Mobula rays unparalleled anywhere else on earth. Exact numbers are near impossible to pin down but it is believed their ranks may swell into the millions while it is not uncommon to see individual schools that number in the tens of thousands. At this point you may be wondering what exactly a Mobula ray is? Well, it is a species of pelagic (open ocean) stingray that includes the iconic giant Manta. The species most frequently visiting this area is the Mobula Munkiana. They reach a size of about 2-3ft wingspan although the larger Mobula Japanica that can reach up to 9ft is also frequently sighted, just not in such massive aggregations as their smaller cousins.
These aggregations begin in approximately May/June and November/December of each year and can last up to 2 or 3 months. These times of year bring ideal feeding conditions near the surface for these filter feeders and also perfect water temperatures for them to go about their somewhat elaborate mating rituals. It is not only the overwhelming numbers that make these creatures so impressive to observe. They engage in some strange and wonderful behaviours, mostly believed to be linked to mating although other theories such as parasite removal have been posited.
These include leaping from the water in acrobatic style, doing back flips and forming mating trains where multiple males jostle for the attention of their female counterparts.
Come and join us on a Pelagic Safari and see this wonderful spectacle and so so much more!
Pelagic Safari Team