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Manatee Migration Update: March 18, 1998

Today's Report Contains:

Latest Manatee Satellite Tracking Information
"It is very cold here--for us!" exclaimed Sirenia Project biologist Cathy Beck in her latest report on March 13, 1998. "Bailey moved from the Banana River over to the power plant in the Indian River with this cold weather. Bob Bonde and Jim Reid have been in the field most of the week because the manatees are really piled in at the warm water sites."

Take a look at the Florida temperatures on the satellite weather images for Mar 8, 12 and 14 below:

March 8

March 12

March 14

Click on each image to see full map

  • Is there any correlation between the temperatures shown on these maps and Bailey's locations in the latest tracking data? (see data at the end of this report below) If so, what dates do you think the temperature influenced the manatees movements?

  • Be sure to also look at today's Blue Spring Roll Call data from Ranger Wayne Hartley, later in this report. Study the movements of the Manatees in that location. Based on what you know from Ranger Wayne's reports, how do the movements there correspond to the temperatures?

click on image to see full map
Mapping and Tracking the Manatees
Have you been using the tracking data to map the movements of the manatees from week to week? Here's a map of their movements based on the same satellite tracking data that you've received. How does your tracking map compare to this map? How is it different? Are your location points in the same locations? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each map?

As you think about these questions and study the maps, see if you can answer this Challenge Question:

Challenge Question # 9:
"According to the satellite data for March 6, 1998, where was Knicky? Based on what you've learned about manatees, how do you interpret this data?"

(Follow the instructions at the end of this report on How to Answer this Challenge Question.)

Students and Scientists Come To the Rescue!

"Just last month, on February 11th, two school children were waiting for their bus, and looked down into a storm drain. What they saw prompted them to call the police!"

Expert Manatee rescuer, Ann Spellman, tells the whole story about the schoolchildren who helped in this unique manatee rescue (and why the students got to skip a day of school too!)

Responses to Challenge Question # 8
Journey North students did a nice job of summarizing some the major risks to manatees in their answers to Challenge Question # 8, which asked students to list all the risks they could think of that cause disease or death to Manatees. Here are some of their responses:

Causes of death:

Natural causes
1. old age
2. cold water stress
3. lack of food
4. red tide
5. disease
Human causes
1. motor boat blades
2. collisions with boats
3. dumping garbage (ocean pollution)
4. poachers
5. destruction of habitat
6. caught in nets or garbage
7. litter
8. flood control devices ( flood gate or canal locks)
9. vandalism

Sarah Pratt
Miss. Lobb's period 4 class
Hudson Falls Middle School
Hudson Halls, NY

"Some natural causes are hypothermia, pneumonia, and emaciation."

Cyberkids at RBS
7th Grade
Richard Butler School Butler N.J

Resources: For more information on manatees visit these informative Websites:

*Remember, call 1-800-DIAL-FMP if you ever spot an injured, orphaned, dead, harassed,or tagged manatee.

Just In! Ask The Expert Answers From The Manatee Expert

Special thanks to Nancy Sadusky, Save the Manatee Club, for providing her time and expertise in responding to these student questions. To read all of the questions and answers, click below:

Ranger Wayne's Blue Spring Roll Call

Ranger Wayne Hartley

On March 14, 1998, "Phyllis gave birth between 12:35 and 10:12. Probably at night in the Boil (area of the run). Phyllis' birth of this manatee calf is a first for the Park!" The new calf was given the name Phire (pronounced fire).

Challenge Question # 10
"How do you think manatee calves are named?
(Clue: it has something to do with the calf's mother's name)"

(Follow the instructions at the end of this report on How to Answer this Challenge Question.)

CONGRATULATIONS to Ranger Wayne and the entire Blue Spring staff! Ranger Wayne also sent in his usual Roll Call data.

  • Remember to look over this data in light of the temperature-related movements described by Cathy Beck and the satellite weather images shown above.

  • Can you correlate this data at Blue Spring with the temperature changes in the weather images?

Roll Call Chart


Air Temp (C)

River Temp (C)

Run Temp. (C)

# of Manatees


























Responses to Challenge Question # 6

Photo credit:s USFWS
Speaking of manatee movements and data, our thanks go to observant Sarah Pratt from Ms. Lobb's class in Hudson Falls Middle School, for her answer to Challenge Question # 6 which asked about the nearest city to "Brian" when he wasn't moving and had "been at the same site for a couple of weeks?'"

According to Sarah, "Brian was located closest to the city of Miami when Cathy Beck reported on 2/17/98 that Brian has been at the same sight for a couple of weeks."

Sarah Pratt
Ms. Lobb's period 4 class
Hudson Falls Middle School
Hudson Falls, NY

Sarah was right. Miami, FL was one of the large cities that Brian was near; he was also close to some smaller cites such as Hollywood, FL.

Today's Satellite Migration Data
(Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey's Sirenia Project)

  • Go to Satellite Data Table for Dakota
  • Go to Satellite Data Table for Knicky
  • Go to Satellite Data Table for Bailey
  • Go to Satellite Data Table for Hillary

How To Respond to Today's Challenge Questions:

Please answer ONLY ONE question in each e-mail message:

1. Address an E-mail message to:

2. IMPORTANT: In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question # 9 (OR # 10 )

3. In the body of the EACH message, give your answer to ONE of the
questions above.

The Next Manatee Update will Be Posted on April 1, 1998

Copyright 1998 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.