Kings Bay, Florida, is one of the most important natural winter habitat locations for the federally threatened Trichechus manatus latirostris (Florida manatee). Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1983 specifically to provide protection for manatees and their critical habitat. To aid managers at the refuge and other agencies with this task, spatial analyses of local habitat use locations and travel corridors of manatees in Kings Bay during manatee season (November 15–March 31) are presented based on Global Positioning System telemetry of 41 manatees over a 12-year timespan (2006−18). Local habitat use areas and travel corridors differed spatially when Gulf of Mexico water temperatures were cold (less than or equal to 17 degrees Celsius) versus when they were warm (greater than 17 degrees Celsius). During times of cold water, manatees were found in higher concentrations in the main springs and canals throughout the eastern side of the bay, whereas when waters were warm, they were found more generally throughout the bay and into Crystal River, except for the central open part of the bay and the southwest corner.
|Title||Movements and habitat use locations of manatees within Kings Bay Florida during the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge winter season (November 15–March 31)|
|Authors||Daniel H. Slone, Susan M. Butler, James P. Reid|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Open-File Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Wetland and Aquatic Research Center|