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Latest Manatee population count

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Old 02-23-2006, 07:18 AM
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Default Latest Manatee population count

This was in the local paper this morning.

State spots 3,116 manatees

There were 386 manatees seen in Brevard waters this month. State law requires an annual tally to help set wildlife priorities.


This time around, 3,116 sea cows reared their pudgy heads in Florida's waters, a healthy number but not very telling for biologists.

They tallied 27 fewer manatees statewide and 141 fewer in Brevard County than last year, but said the lower numbers don't mean much.

"Because these aren't really population estimates, it's very hard to make comparisons over time, so we try not to do that," said Holly Edwards, assistant research scientist at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg. The counts give a snapshot of the minimum number of manatees visible statewide on a given day. The information provides a starting point to use in mathematical models of the species population, Edwards said.

State law requires the count.

While manatees remain federally listed as endangered, Florida may change the species' state designation -- used to set priorities for Florida's wildlife managers -- to threatened status. That could mean less state money and manpower dedicated toward protecting the species.

The highest count -- 3,300 -- came in 2001.

This year, counters spotted 386 manatees in Brevard, compared with 527 last year. Statewide, they saw 1,474 on the Gulf coast and 1,642 on Florida's east coast, compared with last year's 1,548 manatees on the gulf coast and 1,594 on the east coast.

It took 15 people in airplanes, three on foot and about $10,000 to count.

Higher counts happen during sustained cold because manatees gather near warm-water sites such as discharge pipes at the two power plants near Port St. John, where they are easier
to count.

Edwards said the conditions were good for the count, which took place Feb. 13 to Feb. 15.

Tom McGill, a charter captain on Merritt Island and critic of slow speed manatee zones, said they could have been better.

"I think the temperature of the water was too warm," said McGill, adding that he had measured the lagoon temperature at 57 degrees. "The manatees aren't migrating, they're acclimating to colder water."

The all-time highest count in 2001 took place when the lagoon temperature stayed in the low 50s.



The Manatee population has remained steady for the last 5-6 years, BUT the $MC still wants more protection for them!
Dean

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Old 02-23-2006, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: Latest Manatee population count

It's just an arbitrary number. I'd bet that there are twice that many, at the least. The counting method they use is so pi$$ poor, and way too inconsistent with too many variables like weather, temperature, visibility, water temp, chosen locations, human error, etc., etc.
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:53 PM
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Default Re: Latest Manatee population count

Yea, saw that in the Ft Myers paper today. Interesting....Laura Coombs, the local SMC idiot says the numbers don't mean anything. Funny, when the count is low, she crys that the boats are killing them off and the count proves it. A high count, indicating the opposite, is meaningless to them. How do you deal with people like that?
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Latest Manatee population count

Quote:
Originally Posted by AGGRAVATION28
Yea, saw that in the Ft Myers paper today. Interesting....Laura Coombs, the local SMC idiot says the numbers don't mean anything. Funny, when the count is low, she crys that the boats are killing them off and the count proves it. A high count, indicating the opposite, is meaningless to them. How do you deal with people like that?
Find a way to get 'her' on the endangered species' list
Or you could just fart in her face
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Latest Manatee population count

I ate one for lunch Dean, 3115 now
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: Latest Manatee population count

I have nothing to do with this, but it came up on google and I couldn't help but LMAO!
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Latest Manatee population count


Nick,
You are right, that's pretty funny!
Dean
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