Manatee Manatee
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Catching Up With Last Year's Manatees

If you've been wondering about the manatees we tracked last year, here's the latest news from Cathy Beck about Brian, Calista, Comet, and Xoshi.

"When we ended last year, all of our tagged manatees in the St. Johns River system (Brian, Calista, Comet, and Xoshi) had lost their satellite transmitters, but I mentioned that we were tracking by VHF and hoped to re-locate them. 

"In late April Susan and Dean located, and spent a very long day in the field, with Comet and Calista, who were cavorting "all around Lake Monroe" together!  Dean spent about 5 hours in the water that day trying to clip new PTTs (the tags housing the satellite transmitters) onto their belts, but they were so active it was not possible.  Both looked great though, with no recent injuries! 

"On that same day Xoshi was located in Lake Dexter, and Brian was located in Lake Woodruff (both sites off the St. Johns River, not far from Blue Spring)!  Throughout the summer we periodically attempted to retag these manatees, and succeeded with one. Xoshi was recaptured in the St. Johns River near Lake George on June 15th.  She was in excellent condition, and a new satellite transmitter was attached to her peduncle belt before she was quickly released.  Unfortunately, just two weeks later she lost her transmitter again after it became entangled in a trot line and broke free.  During the following weeks, we made several attempts to attach another PTT to Xoshi, but we were unsuccessful. Unfortunately, when the first strong cold front moved in, Xoshi moved out of the area she had been using and we have not been able to locate her since, but we are certainly keeping a lookout for her! 

"Although we did not succeed in retagging Brian, Comet or Calista, we hoped to see them return to the warm waters of Blue Spring with the onset of winter.  Well, we can report with much relief that Brian and Calista did just that!  (Brian came into Blue Spring on 22 Nov.2000, Calista on 27 Nov.2000).  They have both joined the Blue Spring winter resident population of manatees.

"Like Xoshi, we are always on the lookout for Comet too! " 

Cathy Beck
Sirenia Project
Gainesville, FL

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