Manatee Manatee
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Answers From the Manatee Expert

Special thanks Nancy Sadusky, Save the Manatee Club for providing her time and expertise in responding to your questions.

Chaska Elementary

Q. What affects the population of the Manatee, more pollution or boats?

A. Where cause of death is known, watercraft collisions is the single largest category of manatee mortality in the United States. West Indian manatees can swim up to 20 miles per hour in short bursts, but they usually only swim about three to five miles per hour. Because manatees are slow moving, need to surface to breathe air, and prefer shallow water, they are vulnerable to boat hits.

Q. Do the manatees have any mating dances or special sounds during mating season?

A. Manatees do vocalize, but they don't have any sort of mating call or mating dance. They emit sounds underwater that are believed to be used in communicating with one another, and not for navigational purposes. Vocalizations may express fear, anger, or sexual arousal. They are also used to maintain contact, especially when manatees are feeding or traveling in turbid water. Especially common are vocalizations between mothers and calves.

Listen to a Manatee

(Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey's Sirenia Project)

Q. How is global warming affecting the migration and or living habits of the Manatee?

A. On the face of it, global warming could be a good thing for manatees. Since they require tropical and subtropical habitat, global warming could actually increase their habitat area. However, rising water level is also associated with global warming. That means that people living along the coast would probably put up more sea walls, which could be detrimental to seagrass, a necessary food source for manatees.

George Miller Elementary School

Q. We have researched Manatees and found that female manatees give birth to one baby. What is the most common manatee baby a manatee can get, a male or female?

A . With any population in nature, there is a 50 - 50 ratio of male to
female births in manatees. The same is true for humans.

Nancy Sadusky
Communications Director
Save the Manatee Club
500 N. Maitland Ave.
Maitland, FL 32751
For more information or to Adopt-A-Manatee:
1-800-432-JOIN (5646)

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