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Movement patterns of Antillean manatees in Chetumal Bay (Mexico) and coastal Belize: A challenge for regional conservation

Marine Mammal Science

By:
, , , , ,
DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2012.00602.x

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Abstract

Information from 15 satellite-tracked Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) was analyzed in order to assess individual movements, home ranges, and high-use areas for conservation decisions. Manatees were captured in Chetumal Bay, Mexico, and tagged with Argos-monitored satellite transmitters. Location of the manatees and physical characteristics were assessed to describe habitat properties. Most manatees traveled to freshwater sources. The Maximum Area Size (MAS) for each manatee was determined using the observation-area method. Additional kernel densities of 95% home range and 50% Center of Activity (COA) were also calculated, with manatees having 1–3 COAs. Manatees exhibited two different movement patterns: remaining in Chetumal Bay, and long-distance (up to 240 km in 89 d). The residence time in Chetumal Bay was higher for females (89.6% of time) than for males (72.0%), but the daily travel rate (0.4–0.5 km/d) was similar for both sexes. Most of the COAs fell within Natural Protected Areas (NPA). However, manatees also travel for long distances into unprotected areas, where they face uncontrolled boat traffic, fishing activities, and habitat loss. Conservation of movement corridors may promote long-distance movements and facilitate genetic exchange.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Movement patterns of Antillean manatees in Chetumal Bay (Mexico) and coastal Belize: A challenge for regional conservation
Series title:
Marine Mammal Science
DOI:
10.1111/j.1748-7692.2012.00602.x
Volume
29
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
Wiley
Publisher location:
Hoboken, NJ
Contributing office(s):
Southeast Ecological Science Center
Description:
17 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Marine Mammal Science
First page:
E166
Last page:
E182
Number of Pages:
17
Country:
Belize;Mexico
Other Geospatial:
Chetumal Bay