Helping Prove Resident Manatees Return
Hi, my name is Mairead Studdiford, and for the last three years I have been photographing the manatees of Boca Grande, Flordia as part of a research project. I am currently a Junior at Out of Door Academy in Sarasota. I have been coming to Boca Grande for over 10 years and have always been fascinated by the gentle sea creatures. One day I asked myself a question, “I wonder if the same manatees visit Boca Grande every year like I do?” As simple as that, my research idea was born! I have been committed to uncovering the answer to this question for the last three years.
I have been actively photographing manatees all around Boca Grande and currently have a database of over 30 individual creatures. Our early analysis has shown that the manatees of Boca Grande are not a returning or resident cohort, but I believe that our limited data collection and site visits may be the reason we are not photographing returning manatees. In order to fully prove / disprove the theory of resident manatees returning year to year to Boca Grande, we need to increase our database of photographed Boca Grande manatees
We could use your help ! We need active and interested volunteers to help collect images of manatees that have scar patterns that will help identify them individually. It is very easy to do and the more people that provide photos the better our database and research will be. Please take the time to learn how to help this important research – Boca Grande is such a unique and beautiful place and manatees are always a welcome site for visitors and residents.
With your help we can improve our knowledge of the manatees of Boca Grande.