This Is The FINAL Manatee Migration Update: April 15, 1998
Today's Report Contains:
Knicky Continues Her Big Journey Back North!
Take a look at the latest migration map and today's tracking data . You can see just how far north Knicky has moved again! In the last Update, Knicky had swam from the Miami area up to Jensen Beach. Now, she is all the way up near Cape Canaveral again, near where she started back on January 2, 1998!
In Good Hands
Final Comments From Biologist Cathy Beck
"This year, like too many others, has been a difficult one for manatees. We were deeply saddened to lose two of our long-known manatees, Hillary and Xena. The sorrow of Xena's death was compounded by the news that she may have been carrying a fetus. We also had hoped, after his captive existence, that Brian would successfully adjust to the wild. Perhaps after some R & R he will succeed in his second chance. We have full confidence in that rascal Bailey! If he can continue to avoid boats as well as he avoids researchers, he will do fine!
"Thankfully, Dakota and Knicky have seemingly adjusted well to a wild existence, and we will soon turn our attention to other, soon-to-be-released, manatees. I hope next year, you will be eager to hear how these four manatees have fared. Undoubtedly, we will have new manatees to introduce to you!"
Want To Say Thanks?
Cathy and the others at the U.S.G.S. Sirenia Project generously volunteered their time to bring you these reports.
You can write and thank Cathy at:
Cathy A. Beck
Ranger Wayne's Blue Spring Roll Call
Roll Call Chart
* If you'd like to write and thank our favorite manatee-counting canoe paddler, Ranger Wayne, who generously volunteered his time, you can send you notes to him at:
What Does The Future Hold For the Florida Manatee?
As you know, the aerial count of manatees this year showed fewer manatees counted than in the last few years. What does this mean for the future of the Florida Manatee?
Still Cautiously Optimistic
Like Living On A Fixed Income
On the other hand, there may still be cause to worry about the future of the endangered Manatees. Researchers at the Department of Environmental Protectionís (DEP) Florida Marine Research Institute (FMRI) announced in a press release early this year that "Manatee deaths are increasing at a faster rate than the manatee population can support. The number of carcasses recovered has grown 5.8% each year since 1976. The population is only estimated to increase by two to four percent each year, based on the best scientific data available."
An earlier quote by Dr. Ackerman helps put this in perspective: "There is evidence that the population is bigger than we knew five or 10 years ago, and evidence that it's slowly growing, but from here it looks like the numbers of deaths are growing faster. It's like living on a fixed income, but your monthly expenses keep going up. That's got to catch up with you."
What Can Be Done?
The future of the Manatee will also depend on what humans do to control growth in Florida. "Human population is increasing in Florida at alarming rates and existing growth management legislation doesn't seem to be doing much to curb it," says Patti Thompson, Staff Biologist for Save The Manatee Club (SMC). "More humans mean less habitat for manatees and other wildlife. So, in addition to better law enforcement, we also need better growth management regulation."
Growing By The Minute!
Ever wondered what the population estimate for your hometown is? How about the U.S.? And the world? Check out these popular population sites:
What Can I Do To Help?
Plenty! Take a look at these suggestions:
Thanks For Letting Us "Tag" Along
Discussion of Challenge Question # 11 and # 12
Knicky's big move north in the last Update led us to two challenge questions about her movements. In challenge Question # 11, we asked you to calculate the distance that she traveled north each day in degrees, and then see if you find any correlation between the distance Knicky traveled on her longest and shortest days and the Florida temperatures shown on the satellite images?
The farthest distance she traveled was .425 degrees from 3/21 and 3/22; the shortest was .024 degrees from 3/23 to 3/24.From the weather maps, Knicky's farthest move seemed to coincide with temperatures that warmed up from 03/21 to 03/22. On the other hand, her shortest move appeared to coincide with cooling temperatures from 03/23 to 03/24.
In Challenge Question #12, we also asked you to determine "How far did Knicky travel between March 21 and March 27, 1998?" By using the "How Far Is It?" site that helps you find the distance between two places, we learned that Knicky traveled approximately 89 miles or 143 kilometers between these dates.
Today's Satellite Migration Data
(Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey's Sirenia Project)
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