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Observations and relocation of a West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus) off Bimini, The Bahamas

January 12, 2012

West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) are listed as vulnerable (IUCN Red List, 7 March 2009; Deutsch et al., 2008), with the subspecies Trichechus manatus latirostris and T. m. manatus (Florida and Antillean, respectively) considered endangered (IUCN Red List, 21 January 2011; Deutsch, 2008; Self-Sullivan & Mignucci-Giannoni, 2008). Manatees are not native to The Bahamas; however, sightings have been recorded periodically since 1904, with an increase in sightings documented in the 1990s (Lefebvre et al., 2001). In the area of Bimini, The Bahamas, the first recorded manatee sighting was in 1904 of a single individual that was apparently killed (Allen, 1942). The second was not until 1996, which was poorly documented. The small adult remained for approximately 6 wks before disappearing (Lefebvre et al., 2001). In 1998, a third sighting was reported off Bimini of a single individual. Although the animal was seen for several weeks and was relatively habituated to human presence (Al Sweeting, Jr., pers. comm., 28 November 2008), no data were collected on this individual nor any photographs suitable for identification purposes.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2011
Title Observations and relocation of a West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus) off Bimini, The Bahamas
DOI 10.1578/AM.37.4.2011.502
Authors Kelly Melillo-Sweeting, James P. Reid, Lester Gittens, Nicole Adimey, Jared Z. Dillet
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Aquatic Mammals
Index ID 70007160
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Southeast Ecological Science Center