[MARMAM] New publication: Diet items of manatee Trichechus manatus manatus
Lavinia Flores Cascante
lfloresca at ipn.mx
Mon Dec 16 12:01:53 PST 2013
We are glad of share with you this new paper about items in the caribbean manatee diet. We have attached the summary.
Diet items of manatee Trichechus manatus manatus in three priority sites for the species in Mexico and Belize
Manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) are herbivorous mammals with opportunistic habits that feed on
approximately 60 species of plants. The focus of this paper was to identify diet elements of the manatee
by fecal analysis in two sites in Mexico (Jonuta, Tabasco and Bahía de la Ascensión, Quintana Roo) and
one site in Belize (Southern Lagoon). Samples were obtained from wild manatees and captive manatees
temporarily captured for health assessment and sampling during 2004-2006. A total of 24 samples were
analyzed. Diet components were assessed by microhistological analysis of feces. Items were separated and
compared with bibliography and histological collections. Samples were also analyzed to detect invertebra-tes. Vegetal species found included Thalassia testudinum, Rhizophora mangle, Halodule wrightii, Ruppia
sp. and Panicum sp., the latter confirmed for the first time for Mexico. No evidence of invertebrates was
found in the samples. Relative importance of vegetal species consumed by manatees coincides with the
findings reported for other areas in the Americas. Further systematic sampling efforts are needed in areas
where manatee diet items are unknown.
Keywords: Manatee, diet, feces, microhistological analysis.
If you want a pdf copy, send me an email
Biol. Mar. Lavinia F. Cascante
M.C. en Manejo de Recursos Marinos
lfloresca at ipn.mx
biol.lcascante at gmail.com
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