[MARMAM] New publication on manatee acoustic behavior in Belize

Eric Angel Ramos eric.angel.ramos at gmail.com
Fri Nov 17 14:13:44 PST 2023


Greetings MARMAM,

On behalf of my coauthors, I am pleased to share our newest publication on
manatee acoustic behavior in* PLOS ONE* titled "*Manatees display diel
trends in acoustic activity at two microhabitats in Belize.*" The article
is Open Access and available free to download here:

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0294600

*Brady, B., Sarbacker, C., Lasala, J.A., Maust-Mohl, M., Collom, K.A.,
Searle, L., May-Collado, L.J., & Ramos, E.A. (2023). Manatees display diel
trends in acoustic activity at two microhabitats in Belize.  PloS One. PloS
One. 18(11): e0294600 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0294600
<https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0294600> *

Abstract

Many marine mammals exhibit diel trends in vocal production, which can
provide information on habitat use and behavioral activity. In Belize,
Antillean manatees (*Trichechus manatus manatus*) commonly inhabit small
depressions in the substrate or deep-water coves known as “resting holes”.
Determining if manatees exhibit diel temporal trends in their call
production rate and call types between microhabitats can provide insights
into their diurnal and nocturnal activity patterns. Here, we investigate
the diel vocalization patterns of wild Antillean manatees in two adjacent
resting holes off of St. George’s Caye, Belize. Recordings of manatees were
made using a bottom-mounted hydrophone located near a reef barrier reef for
nine days in July of 2017 and ten days in January of 2018. To explore if
and how manatee acoustic activity differs between sites, we compared the
number of calls per hour, the number of manatee positive hours, the number
of tonal and atonal sounds, and the number of boats detected across sites.
A total of 370 hours of acoustic recordings were analyzed resulting in the
detection of 3,262 calls. There were no significant differences in the
number of manatee calls produced per hour between sites. The average number
of calls produced by manatees decreased over the course of several days.
The proportion of tonal calls decreased with hours after sunset and
increased in boat presence. These results suggest manatees in this region
may exhibit different diel activity patterns which appear to be influenced
by the characteristics of the environment. These findings can support
ongoing conservation and management efforts to safeguard species in Belize.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the
corresponding author: Beth Brady at biobbrady at gmail.com

Best regards,
*Eric Angel Ramos, Ph.D.*
Postdoctoral Research Associate at The University of Vermont
Scientist at FINS (Fundación Internacional para la Naturaleza y la
Sustentabilidad)

Member of the IUCN SSC Sirenian Specialist Group for Mesoamerica

www.finsconservation.org <https://finsconservation.org/>
E-mail: eric.angel.ramos at gmail.com
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