Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sea Cows :] - Presentation Topic

Mother manatee and her calf.

 Sirenians are divided into Dugongs and Manatees.  There is only one living species of the Dugongs: Dugong dugon.  Within the manatees there are three different living species: West Indian, West African and Amazonian.  These gentle giants can be found in estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, slow rivers and coastal areas.  Specifically, the West Indian Manatee, also known as the Florida Manatee, is an endangered species.  In 2010, nearly 400 manatees were lost due to natural causes and human-related activities, such as watercraft collisions, habitat loss, pollution, etc.  For 2012 there have already been 88 manatees killed.  Many laws and conservations associations have been established as an effort to protect and save the sea cows.

Manatee kisses (:


 In my presentation I plan to cover the following topics:
Introduction to the Order Sirenia (Genus Trichechus)
            •Basic Information
            •Simple Ecology

West Indian (Florida) Manatee
  • Ecology
  • Endangerment 
    • Human Impacts
      • Pollution/litter
      •  Invasion of habitats (i.e. watercrafts)
    • Nature Impacts
      •  Red Tides
      •  Temperature changes
Scars from previous watercraft collisions

    • Conservation Aspects
      • Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972
        • Fines and time in prison for breaking
      • Endangered Species Act of 1973
        • Fines and time in prison for breaking
      • Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978
      • The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
        •  Regulates trade of wildlife
    ·         Conclusion
    • Recap of main points
    • Future research

    Mother feeding her calf


    1. I know a lot about sea cows and have swam with them in their natural habitat in Florida without any trainers and they are so peaceful and gentle. I cannot wait to hear more about the conservation of the sea cows/manatees and hopefully learn some more information I did not know.

    2. Oh... I am jealous... I would love to swim with them. They are so adorable (: