[MARMAM] New Publication: Manatee behavioral response to boats

Athena Rycyk arycyk at ncf.edu
Wed Oct 24 10:52:57 PDT 2018

Dear Colleagues,

We are happy to announce the following paper in Marine Mammal Science:

*Manatee behavioral response to boats*

Athena M. Rycyk, Charles J. Deutsch, Margaret E. Barlas, Stacie K. Hardy,
Katherine Frisch, Erin H. Leone, and Douglas P. Nowacek

The long‐term viability of the Florida manatee is threatened in part by
mortality from boat collisions. This study investigated manatee behavior
during boat approaches to better understand factors that lead to
manatee–boat collisions. Digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs) and
Argos‐linked GPS tags were deployed on 18 manatees in southwest Florida,
and boat traffic around them was mapped. Suites of manatee behavioral,
environmental, and boat‐related factors were recorded during opportunistic
boat passes. We built generalized linear mixed models to determine which
factors accounted for variation in occurrence, number, and timing of
manatee behavioral changes during boat passes. Manatees responded to boats,
changing their orientation, depth, and fluking behavior most often when a
boat approached closely (<10 m). Manatees were also more likely to change
their depth when not on a seagrass bed and when actively fluking before a
boat pass. Boat speed did not affect the occurrence or intensity of manatee
response. Compared to fast approaches, however, slower passes allowed the
manatee more time to respond, and behavioral change occurred earlier
relative to the time of the boat's closest point of approach. We conclude
that faster boats likely pose a greater risk of collision with manatees
than do slower boats.

The full text can be accessed using the link below (*Open Access*):

Please feel free to contact me with any questions!

Best regards,
Athena Rycyk
arycyk at ncf.edu

*Athena Rycyk, Ph.D.*

New College of Florida
Assistant Professor of Biology & Marine Science
5800 Bay Shore Rd.
Sarasota, FL 34243-2109
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