Manatee Manatee
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Manatee Migration Update:February 7, 2001

Today's Report Includes:

Beck is Back!
Welcome back to Biologist Cathy Beck and her colleagues at The Sirenia Project for a fifth season! Every year Cathy and the team have let us in for a rare look at manatee research as it happens. We're grateful for the opportunity to follow along again this year as they conduct their important research on the endangered Florida Manatee.

Field Notes From Manatee Biologist Cathy Beck
"Hi students! I'm glad to be back with Journey North, and glad that you can join in our latest research projects.All of our scientists are back again too--Bob Bonde, Jim Reid, Susan Butler and Dean Easton.

New Uncharted Territory!
"Right now, we are out capturing, tagging and releasing wild manatees in a whole new unexplored area! It's called Ten Thousand Islands (25.700N, 81.300W) right along the western edge of the Everglades, and we hope to tag 10 manatees here.

"We are just starting to learn about manatee movements in this area. It's all part of a study related to the Everglades Restoration. We anticipate some very interesting movements, especially during mild spells as spring approaches. So watch for big news on the new manatees that we tag!

Surf's Up! Start Tracking Now
"While we wait for news from the "Tag Team", you can begin tracking "Surfer", who is among the first manatees we tagged already for this study. She is an adult female manatee who was tagged and released last June, after being rescued from exposure to the red tide toxin. Surfer's data is below, and we'll have more on her in the coming weeks too."

Today's Satellite Migration Data

(Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey's Sirenia Project)

Challenge Question #1:
"Can you figure out where Surfer was released? Using the latitude and longitude provided for 6/22/00, name the nearest large coastal city."

Challenge Question #2:
"Using Surfer's latitude readings, can you determine how far south she migrated between June 22, 2000 and January 1, 2001? Between November 22 and 26, 2000? During these November 22-26 dates how many miles per day did she travel on average?"

Note: Use this lesson to help you get comfortable with satellite data, so you'll have a feeling for the distances involved when a manatee's latitude and longitude readings change: Latitude, Longitude and Distance Traveled

Challenge Question #3:
"Can you explain WHY Surfer might have moved WHEN and WHERE she did between November 22 and 26? Plot her travels between those dates. Then find Florida on the weather maps and study them for the dates November 19-22"

November 19

November 20

November 21

November 22

Click to map to enlarge.
Click here for Legend of Map Symbols


(To respond to these questions, please follow the instructions below.)

"We hope to have captured more manatees for tracking by the next report! Until then, this is Cathy Beck"

Cathy Beck
Sirenia Project
Gainesville, FL

Meeting of the Minds--Get to Know Your Sirenia Scientists
Go behind the scenes and meet Cathy, Bob, Jim, Susan and Dean.

Catch Up With Last Year's Manatees

For those of you who tracked Brian, Calista, Comet and Xoshi last year, you can get the latest news about them by going to:

You Eat How Much Each Day?
What percentage of their body weight do you think a manatee eats every day? You can learn the answer to this question and general background information about the endangered Florida Manatee by going to:

Suggestions for Student Research
Remember that this data gives you a rare opportunity to conduct your own scientific research. For some ideas on developing your own research topics with this data, go to:

Coming in the Next Reports
  • Meet the newly tagged wild manatees
  • Count manatees by canoe with Ranger Wayne at Blue Spring
  • Survey manatees from the sky with airborne Dr. Bruce Ackerman
  • Ask the Expert Opens Feb 16--start preparing your good questions

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions

IMPORTANT: 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 #1 (OR #2, OR #3)
3. In the body of the EACH message, give your answer to ONE of the questions above.

The Next Manatee Migration Update will Be Posted on February 21, 2001

Copyright 2001 Journey North. All Rights Reserved. Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions to our feedback form

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