Manatee: The Real Gentle Giant Draft #2

This topic submitted by Nathan Snedeker ( snedeknc@miamioh.edu) at 8:13 PM on 5/11/06.

A fabulous sunset at Drake Bay near Corcovado National park, Costa Rica. See other beautiful phenomena from the Costa Rica.

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University



Although their numbers appear to be on the rise, manatees are still considered an endangered species. Humans are the number one threat they face but are also their best ally. The intention of this paper is to provide information on the biology of manatees as well as the many conservation efforts that are put forth both locally and internationally. Also, information will be provided on how people involved in the audience of this of paper and presentation can offer assistance.

I. What is a manatee?
A. Common names for types of manatees
1. Florida Manatee
2. West Indian Manatee
3. Amazon Manatee
4. West African Manatee
B. Relatives
1. Elephant
2. Hyrax
C. Physical Appearance
1. Paddle-like tail
2. 2 short front appendages with 3-4 fingernails
3. Whiskers and snout with 2 nostrils
4. Gray to brown skin sometimes with algae growing on it
II. Habitats
A. Depends on type
1. Florida, Caribbean, Central-America, South-America, Amazon, West Africa
B. Rivers, estuaries, and coastal areas
C. 70 degrees Fahrenheit or greater
D. Fresh vs salt water
E. Particular food areas
F. Reserves
III. Humans
A. Boats
B. Effects on food sources
C. Influences on migration
D. Pollution
E. Fishing nets
F. Refuges and influence of nuclear power plants
G. Interaction in “Swim with manatee” programs
IV. Conservation Efforts
A. Project ŮLightHawkÓ
B. Tracking
C. Everglades
D. Legislation
E. International Awareness

SOURCES
Abellera, Bonnie J. (ed). (2003 April-June). Manatee Conservation: Meeting the Challenge. Manatee News Quarterly, Vol 7, Issue 2, 1-12

Bavaria, J., & Merediz, G. (Spring 2003). Lighthawk: Focus Mesoamerica.

Save the Manatee Club
http://www.savethemanatee.org/

Sirenian International
http://www.sirenian.org/

WildLIFE - Hometown Happenings: “A Manatee’s Best Friend”
http://www.abap-wildlife.com/happenings_archives5.html

US Fish and Wildlife Service: North Florida Field Office
http://www.fws.gov/northflorida/Manatee/manatee-gen-facts.htm

USGS INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS: Manatee Conservation in Belize
http://international.usgs.gov/projects/prjmanatees.htm


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