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Jim Reid (USGS) removing a temperature recorder at the Cape Canaveral Power Plant
Manatees seeking warmer waters at the Indian River Generating System (closed-down)
Group shot: Jim Reid (USGS), Kendria (BMMRO), Dan Slone (USGS), and Susan Butler (USGS)

Manatees

The number of West Indian manatees found in the Bahamas has increased over the past 2 decades. These animals are originating from Florida where the once endangered population is now growing. If this trend continues we can expect more of these wayward travelers in our waters. Although manatees occurred historically in The Bahamas, lack of fresh water may have limited population growth here.

Mother and Calf (3-4 months): Bullocks Harbour Marina, Berry Islands Kendria all geared up to track manatees at the Cape Canaveral Power Plant

The response to recent sightings has ranged from capturing and returning animals to Florida which is costly, to doing nothing at all which may put the animal at risk of dehydration. The health of animals found here has varied as well - at least one needed immediate medical care while most appear healthy. Of note, a young female, "Gina" (known previously from Florida), has been residing in Great Harbour Cay since 1999 and produced 3-4 offspring, all of which have remained in the area! So what is special about Great Harbour Cay that provides good habitat for manatees, how are they using the area, are they finding natural sources of fresh water, and what threats do they face, e.g. boat traffic? To answer these questions, Kendria Ferguson (BMMRO) has undertaken training from Dr. Jim Reid (US Geological Survey) to learn how to track manatees and assess their habitat use. Kendria has travelled to Bullock's Harbour to deploy underwater temperature sensors and gather sighting information from locals. More to come on this exciting project!


News archives:
Dec - Manatees
Nov - Conference
Oct - Dolphins
Sep - Stranding
Aug - a blog
Jul - Poop!
Jun - Survey
May - Fin whale!
Apr - Internships
Mar - Conference
Feb - Education Officer
Jan - Minke whale!


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