Manatee occurrence in the northern Gulf of Mexico, west of Florida

Gulf and Caribbean Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

Reports of West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) in the US Gulf of Mexico west of Florida have increased during the last decade. We reviewed all available manatee sighting, capture, and carcass records (n = 377) from Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas since the early 1900s; only 40 of these were previously published. Manatees were reported most often in estuarine habitats, usually either near a freshwater source or natural or industrial warm-water springs/runoffs during winter months. The recent increase in manatee records may be due to a combination of increased public awareness and dispersal of manatees, most likely seasonal migrants from Florida. We caution that the presence of artificial warm-water sources outside of the manatee’s traditional range may attract an increasing number of manatees and could increase the incidence of cold-related mortality in this region.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Manatee occurrence in the northern Gulf of Mexico, west of Florida
Series title Gulf and Caribbean Research
DOI 10.18785/gcr.1701.07
Volume 17
Issue 1
Year Published 2005
Language English
Publisher University of Southern Mississippi
Contributing office(s) Southeast Ecological Science Center
Description 26 p.
First page 69
Last page 94
Country United States
State Florida
Other Geospatial Gulf of Mexico
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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