Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Collisons between wildlife and vehicles threaten many species, and can lead to human loss of life, injuries, and loss of property. USGS is developing models to help evaluate the effectiveness of wildlife protection zones and optimize the design of these protected areas.
Population models developed by USGS are the primary decision-support tools used for status assessments, and rely on estimates of adult survival and reproduction rates from mark-recapture studies.
Modeling Past Variation in Florida Manatee Survival, Breeding, and Movements Rates to Establish Baselines for Aquatic Ecosystem and Restoration Research
Long-term monitoring data in the Manatee Individual Photo-identification System (MIPS), developed and coordinated by WARC-Sirenia Project in collaboration with Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory, are the basis for modeling manatee demography rates.
A multi-agency effort assesses the health of manatees and provides baseline information on their health, reproductive status, and nutritional condition.
Since 1978, USGS scientists have photo-documented manatees in the Southeast United States. Now, more than 3,000 manatees can be found in the MIPS database.
Manatees are tropical to subtropical in distribution and, with few exceptions, Florida is the northern limit of their natural winter range. The availability of warm-water habitat during winter is critical for the future persistence of the population in Florida.
USGS works with partners to assess manatee distribution and habitat use throughout the Northern Gulf of Mexico.
Monitoring and Assessing Effects of the Picayune Strand Restoration Project (PSRP) on the Florida Manatee
Critical information predicting condition changes in manatee habitat resulting from the alteration of freshwater flows to estuaries is needed to develop the PSRP Detailed Design and PSRP Operations Plan components and complete consultation under the Endangered Species Act.
Seagrass Beds and Manatee Foraging Areas in the Ten Thousand Islands: Mapping and Characterizing by Incorporating Manatee GPS Tracking Data and Habitat Information
Turbid water conditions make the delineation and characterization of benthic habitats difficult by traditional in situ and remote sensing methods. Consequently, only a small fraction of this valuable resource has been mapped or characterized.
Winter Manatee Foraging Behavior and the Decline of Seagrass Beds in the Northern Indian River Lagoon
With high numbers of manatees using the Florida Power and Light power plant warm water refuge during winter, their impact on the seagrass beds in the Indian River Lagoon is considered an important indicator of the long-term capacity of the area to support the manatees. USGS is working with partners to investigate the spatial extent and intensity of manatee use of seagrass beds in the area. ...