[MARMAM] Fwd: New publication on the release fate of rehabilitated Florida manatees

Bonde, Robert rbonde at usgs.gov
Tue Aug 30 08:45:38 PDT 2016

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce a new publication on the
outcome of monitored Florida manatees released during the last 26 years
that was just published in *Aquatic Mammals*.

Adimey, N.M., M. Ross, M. Hall, J.P. Reid, M.E. Barlas, L.W. Keith Diagne
and R.K. Bonde. 2016. *Twenty-six years of post-release monitoring of
Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris): evaluation of a
cooperative rehabilitation program*. Aquatic Mammals 42(3):376-391.

Copies of the article are available by contacting: *nicole.adimey at noaa.gov
<nicole.adimey at noaa.gov>*

Abstract - The rescue, rehabilitation, and release of Florida manatees
manatus latirostris*) into the wild has occurred since 1974; however, a
comprehensive evaluation of the outcomes of the releases has never been
conducted. Herein, we examined data for 136 Florida manatees that were
rehabilitated and released with telemetry tags between 1988 and 2013 to
determine release outcome of each individual as either success
(acclimation) or failure after at least 1 y. Ten predictor variables were
statistically evaluated for potential relationships to release outcome. To
assess the contribution of each predictor variable to release outcome, each
variable was tested for significance in univariate analyses. Manatees born
in captivity experienced poor success after release (14%), whereas the
overall success of wild-born individuals was higher (72%). When compared
with other variables in our dataset, number of days in captivity was the
strongest predictor for determining success. Manatees rescued as calves and
held in captivity for more than 5 y had a high likelihood of failure, while
subadults and adults had a high likelihood of success, regardless of the
amount of time spent in captivity. Ensuring the success of individual
manatees after release is critical for evaluating the contribution of the
manatee rehabilitation program to the growth of the wild population.

Robert K. Bonde, PhD
Research Biologist - Sirenia Project
Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
U.S. Geological Survey
7920 NW 71st Street
Gainesville,  Florida  32653-3071

Phone:  (352)264-3555  FAX:  (352)378-4956
Email:   rbonde at usgs.gov
Limited email access during evenings and weekends
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