Episode 802: Manatees: Conserving a Marine Mammal

The lovable Florida manatee draws thousands of tourists to Crystal River every year. This sanctuary is also a treasure for scientists, who take advantage of the winter gatherings of hundreds of manatees in the shallow, clear water to study this marine mammal. One particular research group is using cutting-edge technology to detect manatees in the water without even seeing them, using their DNA. The conservation of Florida's state marine mammal now relies on some fundamental scientific questions. What is a healthy population of manatees? And do we have enough habitat and food sources to support a growing population?

Experts

Meet the experts featured in this episode.


Special Thanks:

Plantation on Crystal River
9301 W. Fort Island Trail
Crystal River, FL 34429
1 (800) 632-6262




Red Roof Inn
3500 Southwest 42nd Street
Gainesville, FL 32608
(352) 336-3311


Image Credits

Changing Seas would like to thank the following individuals and institutions who kindly allowed their footage, images and other media to be used in this production:

Cathy A. Beck

Florida Power & Light Company

US Geological Survey, Sirenia Project

Special Thanks:

USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center

Florida Museum of Natural History

Daryl Domning, Ph.D.

Iskande V. Larkin, Ph.D.

Ivan Vicente

Matthew Gill

Karen Richason

Terry Natwick

Web Extras

Aerials of Crystal River's Kings Bay

The beautiful waters of Kings Bay in Crystal River, Florida, are home to a large manatee population in the wintertime. When temperatures drop in the ocean, the large marine mammals seek refuge in the warmer, spring-fed waters of the bay. Their presence draws many tourists to the region, who come for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snorkel with these gentle sea cows.

Three Sisters Springs

The beautiful and clear Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, Florida, are a favorite hangout for manatees in the wintertime, when water temperatures drop in the Gulf of Mexico. The constant 72-degree water coming out of the springs provide a refuge for the giant marine mammals, which need warm water to survive.


Funding for this episode of Changing Seas was provided by: