INTRODUCTION The \Vest Indian manatee, Trichechus manatas (Sirenia : Trichechidae), is distributed throughout the Caribbean region, from the southeastern United States to northeastern Brazil (Husar, 1977). Current estimates of the population within the United States stand at about 1000 animals (Campbell and Powell, 1976) and the world population may number about 14,000 (Ad Hoc Group II, FAO meeting on marine mammals, Bergen, Norway, 1976). The species is considered to be endangered (United States Department of the Interior, Fish and \Vildlife Service, 1977), but conservation and management programs are hindered by the lack of biological data (Brownell, Rails, and Reeves (eds.), 1978). T. manatus has, therefore, become the subject of considerable interest and research in recent years. This study attempts to augment scanty existing knowledge, summarized by Husar (1977), regarding the social behaviour and herd structure of T. manatus. MATERIALS AND METHODS Site selection. STUDY SITE Field studies were initiated in November 1974. From that time until April, 1975, waterways in the Miami, Florida, area were surveyed by boat and by interviewing residents to find an accessible location where manatees could be regularly observed. M animalia, t. 45, n° 4, 1981. Although manatees appeared intermittently in many canals and
Mammalia - International Journal of the Systematics, Biology and Ecology of Mammals – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 1981
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