West Indian Manatee

Erin Toro, Marlei Green, Sheradyn Romo, Madison Cook

What's your names?

Common Name~ West Indian Manatee

Scientific Name~ Trichechus Manatus

Stages of the Manatee Life

Have to have Habitat

West Indian Manatees live in shallow, slow moving rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, and costal areas. Manatees do migrate: to Florida in the winter, to Texas/ Massachusetts or Alabama/ Georgia/ South Carolina in the Summer, and to Central America/ South America in the spring and fall. Since manatees live in aquatic ecosystems they we surrounded by abiotic and biotic factors. Some abiotic factors are sand, water, rocks, oxygen, and the biotic factors include fish, algae, seaweed, and aquatic plants.

Adding in the Adaptations

Manatees stay warm by migrating it warmer waters, or by congregating around warm water springs and man-made sources of warm water like power plant discharges. They use their front flippers and muscular lips to bring food into their mouths since they have no front teeth, and to chew their food they rely on the thick ribbed pads in the front of their mouth to break down vegetation. Over time manatees lungs have worked to be able to renew 90% of their air so they have to surface less often.

Gone Fishing

The population surveys taken previously (beginning in 1991) show an increasing trend. However, these results are not accurate, and the "increasing" rate is more likely to be the result of an improved survey system. The true population status of Manatees are actually decreasing due to the increased human pollution of recent years.

Why did it go?

The West Indian Manatee has no natural enemies, so they mostly die from human related causes. This includes collisions with watercraft, being crushed in canal locks and flood control structures, indigestion of fish hooks, litter, and monofilament lines, entanglement in crab trap lines, and loss of habitat.

How Rewarding

Manatees provide an economic benefit to society. Places such as Sea World have manatee rescue areas where the sea world rescue team has taken endangered manatee species such as the West Indian Manatees. These manatees bring in visitors from dozens of places around the state and even the country. If these manatees became truly extinct zoo's and aquariums would lose visitors, causing future problems.

Recover that Manatee

Some organizations that are working to recover the manatee are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the Save the Manatee Club (SMC). Some specific measures that are being taken to save the manatee are developed site-specific boat speed zones; research addressing the biology, mortality, population and distribution, behavior, and habit of manatees; implementation of management plans; posting of speed signs with fines for violations; manatee public awareness programs; and the creation of manatee sanctuaries.

Hot Stuff Hotspots

The hotspot most suitable to move the manatees to is the Sogod Bay, Phillipines. It has the necessary vegetation needed to supply the manatees with enough food, and enough space that the smaller manatees wouldn't take over the already existing ecosystem. It also has enough biodiversity in existence to promote a more rapid level of evolution.

Bigger Isn't Always Better

The new adapted version of the West Indian Manatee is simple, yet effective in its new adaptations. Because of human pollution (the main reason for this species' endangerment), the manatees are losing large portions of their habitat. The most reasonable adaptation to occur would be a decrease in size. This size reduction would also help the West Indian Manatee to evade large amounts if pollution, and use less food (which is helpful to other species who are also affected by pollution).