Report Your Sightings
To: Journey North
Ranger Wayne Hartley
From: Ranger Wayne Hartley
January 26, 1998
"Manatee madness strikes again! As of 18 January we have seen 105 manatees this
season. Eleven more than our record. On 15 December the morning count was 87, six
over the previous record set several years ago! We only have seven calves but that
is still a nice number. I called two of the pregnancies and said that two weren?t.
The other three I didn?t get to see. At least ninety-two manatees are still here!
The summer boat strikes were disappointing. The percentage struck was down to 37%
from 40% the previous year but the numbers of animals hit went from 38 to 39. These
39 shared 46 hits among them, far more than last year I believe. The good side is
that significant strikes (permanent scarring) are down to 22(19 animals) from 28
and on average are less severe. Unlike last year I cannot applaud a lack of deaths.
Loomis, Lilly?s fourth calf, was picked up as a boat kill on 23 September near Palatka
on the St. Johns River in the same general vicinity Boomer was killed. I can remember
Loomis scaring himself out of a year?s growth when he came up from the bottom and
hit the keel of the canoe in the middle of a good stretch! No one paid any attention
because he was just a calf, if it had been an adult the run would have been emptied.
He was also the escort for Phyllis when she brought the twins in for the first time.
He wasn?t very distinctive, he didn?t even stay the season last year, but it was
always good to see him. The winter boat hits looked good until the warm spell in
January. It isn?t too bad yet but it is rising.
Some of the nice occurrences this season: Cora, a calf from 1994, returned. Her mother
has only been recorded that one time at Blue Spring and no where else even though
she is very distinctive. Lucretia, Luna?s last calf, has returned with another calf
after a season?s absence. Banks, a distinctive small male has apparently been spending
every other season in Coral Gables. Finally, Rivera Beach 501 is spending his first
winter at Blue Spring. He had no name so I call him Mangle for his tail. My thanks
to the federal Sirenia Project for the last two items.
A not so nice occurrence was the arrival of Kate on 18 January with cold stress and
its very ugly accompanying problems. It was good she found us as she was soon on
her way to Sea World where they have a lot of experience and success in treating
cold stress. I had heard of it but never seen it at Blue Springs so it confused me
at first. She was smaller than our large calves and larger than our small ones but
could be a yearling. I hope Kate can come back to us soon but cold problems as bad
as hers can take months to be overcome."
Blue Spring State Park