Manatee Manatee
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Manatee Migration Update: February 2, 2000

Today's Report Includes:

Field Notes from Biologist Cathy Beck

Cathy Beck

"Dear Students,

"Hello to all returning and new manatee trackers! This is Cathy Beck from the Sirenia Project in Florida. I'm back for the 4th year with my fellow scientists, Jim Reid, Bob Bonde, and Susan Butler, and we are ready to go!

Watch For Big News
"Watch for big news in the next few weeks--we expect to tag and release 4 manatees for you to help us follow. They include two males, 'Comet' and 'Brian', and two females 'Xoshi' and 'Calista'. You probably remember Brian and Xoshi from last year - we're going to try again and hope they fare better at this release site!

Bye Mom, I'm On My Own
"Right now you can begin tracking "Ivan", a wild manatee that's never been captive. We tracked him last year when he was just a calf swimming with his mother, Dmitra. Now he's on his own! His latest data are below. He's already tagged and swimming on the west coast of Florida.

Catch Me if You Can


"Susan Butler is trying to retag Knicky, the long-distance traveler that Journey North students have tracked for two years now. Knicky lost her tag in early December. Her travels have become well known and fun to follow, because you never know where she'll go next, or how far! While Susan is trying to retag her, take a look at Knicky's data below. Can you figure out how a international news event affected her travels last Fall?

"Enjoy tracking and learning about the manatees this season! We thank you for your interest in these beautiful and unique endangered mammals."

Cathy Beck
Sirenia Project

Let the Tracking Begin

Map courtesy of Macalester College

It's time to take your first look at the satellite tracking data for Ivan and Knicky, which is provided below. Start your research by plotting their movements on a map, using location and dates. We'll have tracking data for the other manatees when they're released.

Today's Satellite Migration Data
(Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey's Sirenia Project)

From Cathy Beck's letter above, it looks like Knicky's done it again! Just take a look at her travel data from this fall. After you plot her data, can you answer:

Challenge Question #1:
"Plot Knicky's travels between August 31 and September 16, 1999. What international news event reported in newspapers worldwide had an effect on little Knicky during this time period? Why and how do you think it affected her?"

Challenge Question #2:
"Using the September 13 and October 5, 1999 latitude readings for Knicky, can you figure out how far she traveled? For help in using satellite data to calculate distance go to:

(To respond to these Challenge Questions, please follow the instructions at the end of this report.)

Suggestions for Student Research
Remember that this data gives you a rare opportunity to conduct your own scientific research. For some ideas on developing your own research topics with this data, take a look at:

Gentle Giants
What other large mammal do you think is a close relative of the manatee? For the answer to this question and general background information about the endangered Florida Manatee go to:

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions

Please answer ONLY ONE question in each e-mail message!:

1. Address an E-mail message to:
2. IMPORTANT: In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question #1 (OR #2)
3. In the body of the EACH message, give your answer to ONE of the questions above.

The Next Manatee Migration Update will Be Posted on February16, 2000

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