Title: Sirenews
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099157/00009
 Material Information
Title: Sirenews newsletter of the IUCNSSC Sirenia Specialist Group
Alternate Title: Siren news
Physical Description: v. : ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources -- Sirenia Specialist Group
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources -- Sirenia Specialist Group
Publisher: IUCN/SSC Sirenia Specialist Group
Place of Publication: Washington D.C
Washington D.C
Publication Date: April 1988
Frequency: two no. a year[apr. 1984-]
Subject: Sirenia -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Marine mammals -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Additional Physical Form: Also issued via the World Wide Web.
Dates or Sequential Designation: No. 1 (Apr. 1984)-
Issuing Body: Supported 1984-Apr. 1992 by the Species Survival Commission of IUCN, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission; Oct. 1992 by the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission & U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Apr. 1993-Oct. 1994 by the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission; <Oct. 1995>- by the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission and Sea World, Inc.
General Note: Title from caption.
General Note: Latest issue consulted: No. 48 (Oct. 2007).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099157
Volume ID: VID00009
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 35841617
lccn - 2009208704
issn - 1017-3439


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The IUCN Species Survival Commission has been forced to cut back on its support of Specialist
Group newsletters, including this one. In order to meet our publication costs, we must therefore
institute a subscription policy, beginning with the first issue of 1989. The following policy is
being considered; comments are invited.
Executive and Corresponding Members of the Sirenia Specialist Group (listed in Sirenews No. 5)
will continue to receive the newsletter free of charge. All other individuals and institutions will
be asked to subscribe at the rate of US$5.00 per year, payable in U.S. currency only. Those with
addresses in the U.S. will be required to pay; those in other countries for whom payment in U.S.
currency is difficult or impossible will, upon request, be sent the newsletter free.
At the same time Sirenews will be purging its mailing list in an effort to reduce costs. Those who
have not informed us positively by April 1, 1989 that they wish to continue receiving the
newsletter (and sent payment if required) will be dropped from the list.


The Conservation Action Plan for the Sirenia is being drafted by Helene Marsh (dugongs) and
Tom O'Shea (manatees). The draft will eventually be circulated for comments; however, the
drafters request that anyone with suggestions or contributions to offer for inclusion in the plan
send them at this time to either Helene or Tom, as appropriate. The response to this request so far
has been extremely disappointing. The initiative and cooperation of other active sirenian
researchers are badly needed so that the necessary labor can be shared and not fall exclusively on
these two individuals, who are already overburdened with other research and management tasks.



To Sirenews:

After reading Helene Marsh's suggested guidelines for capture and holding of dugongs in
captivity [Sirenews No. 8], I feel that item 5 (food supply) should be modified as follows: "A
nutritious food source should be available." I think that, in time, experimentation will yield an
alternative food supply (e.g., mats of hydroponically grown sprouts) that is cheaper to produce
than it is to gather seagrasses. This will also serve to minimize human impact on seagrass beds. --
Daniel K. Odell



Situation Looks Brighter for Dugongs in Torres Strait. In November 1983, I conducted an aerial
survey for dugongs in the Torres Strait region between Australia and Papua New Guinea. I knew
that the resultant population estimate of 1455+_276 was a minimum estimate as it was not
corrected for the proportion of dugongs visible in the transect that are missed by observers
(perception bias) or the proportion that were unavailable to observers due to water turbidity
(availability bias). On the basis of this estimate, I concluded that there were not enough dugongs
in Torres Strait to sustain recent harvest levels, a conclusion reinforced by Brydget Hudson's
statistics on the catch levels at Daru (PNG), which had plunged despite sustained hunting effort.
Last November, we repeated the survey using the upgraded aerial survey technique developed for
use in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which includes survey-specific correction factors for
perception and availability biases. The revised population estimate based on this survey is 12521
+_1487, which may be enough to sustain the present, much-reduced level of hunting.
A public education program is being developed in the Australian parts of Torres Strait to
encourage the Islanders to limit their hunting activities, and a sanctuary area has been declared
west of the main hunting islands. It is unfortunate, however, that the sanctuary supports only a
low density of dugongs, and the excellent public education program developed by Brydget
Hudson in PNG has been discontinued due to lack of funds. Helene Marsh

Radiotracking Update. The immature male tagged with a VHF transmitter in Cleveland Bay
near Townsville ranged over only 11 sq. km during the 16 months before his transmitter finally
came off. Four adult males tagged with satellite PTTs in the Starcke River area north of
Cooktown were all relatively sedentary during the periods (4-11 weeks) for which they were
monitored. Most locations were from core areas of only 5 to 11 sq. km. Occasionally the
dugongs journeyed to nearby bays or up tidal creeks.
The cause of the transmitters coming off is causing some concern. The VHF transmitter


apparently came off due to failure of the buckle after the tether became entangled. Fortunately the
transmitter and tether were found on a beach by one of my students. The first of the four PTTs
failed after 4 weeks, apparently due to an electronic fault, and has not been recovered. Another
PTT came off after 7 weeks. The transmitter was recovered without the tether or harness,
suggesting human interference. Another PTT came off its dugong after 11 weeks and has been
recovered with the tether intact but minus the tailstock belt, suggesting failure of the weak link.
The fourth PTT is still beeping away on a remote beach near the Aboriginal community of
Lockhart River, and I am hopeful that a $500 reward will lead to its recovery over Easter. -
Helene Marsh


Radiotagging: An Overview. One of the major activities of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's
Sirenia Project and its collaborators over the last two years has been a radiotelemetry study of the
movements and local use areas of manatees along the east coast of Florida. Although we
anticipate continuing fieldwork for another three years, hopefully at an increased level of effort,
initial findings are intriguing. We have tracked a total of 22 manatees thus far, with a number of
re-taggings of the same individuals. Most have been tagged with VHF transmitters, but eight
have been tracked with satellite-monitored PTTs (see Sirenews No. 6, Oct. 1986). The objectives
of the study have been to determine seasonal movement patterns and key resource areas.
Telemetry data should provide a basis for decisions regarding protection of important areas and
regulation of waterfront development and boating traffic. Eastern Florida has had a significantly
higher proportion of boat-killed manatees in recent years, and is undergoing prodigious
Tagging activities have centered on the Brevard County area of the central east coast, particularly
on Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Manatees have also been tagged at Fernandina Beach
on the Georgia-Florida state boundary (see report by Lynn Lefebvre in this issue). Several
animals previously tagged at these sites have been re-tagged at power plant effluents in
southeastern Florida in winter when the tethered floating transmitters malfunctioned or became
detached at the weak safety link. A few individuals have been tracked continuously for over a
year. One has been tracked during three winter-spring periods following a series of re-taggings.
Thus far, most captured animals have been adult females.
Movement patterns are complex. Some individuals spend most of the annual cycle in the same
general areas of Brevard County, whereas others move southward to winter near Riviera Beach,
Fort Lauderdale, or Miami. Those that have not ventured farther south than Brevard County
spend long periods resting at power plant effluents in winter, whereas those that travel the 300
km south spend much less time at warm-water effluents. Some manatees combine strategies and
spend the early part of the winter at Brevard County effluents, but later move to south Florida. In
spring and summer, individuals will range north to Georgia, and one adult female travelled the
450-km circuit between Brevard County and Georgia several times within one summer, making


the one-way leg of the trip in as little as four days. This same female wintered in southern Florida.
Despite variability in total range of travel, within these ranges manatees may be relatively
predictable in their local use areas, showing heavy use of the same limited locations from one
summer to the next. During radiotracking we have found important feeding and resting areas,
determined rates of travel, and learned more about interchange among wintering sites. We
continue to be impressed with the variability and flexibility in individual ecological and
behavioral strategies shown by this species. Some individuals switch from foraging for weeks in
Spartina salt marshes in Georgia to grazing on seagrass meadows in southern Florida. We also
continue to be impressed with the knowledge individual manatees possess on the locations of
traditionally visited point resources (such as freshwater sources, safe resting places, or thermal
refuges) located hundreds of kilometers apart.
Radio and satellite tracking has been a formidable task due to the complexity of movement
patterns, range of movements, and rates of travel. We have therefore relied heavily on
cooperation and funding from a variety of other groups outside of the National Ecology Research
Center, including the Florida Department of Natural Resources, Florida Power and Light
Company, Florida Audubon Society, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. National Park
Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Navy, and the Save the Manatee Club, as well as a
variety of other organizations and volunteers. Hopefully, our community effort will expand over
the next few years to allow us to better understand the variability we see, and to apply this
understanding to manatee conservation. Tom O'Shea

Radiotracking in Florida and Georgia. The movements and ecology of radiotagged manatees
were studied during the spring and summer of 1987 in the Cumberland Sound region, near the
Georgia/Florida border. Two manatees were tagged at Fernandina Beach (near Cumberland
Sound in Nassau County, Florida) in March, and two that were tagged in Brevard County, Florida
migrated to Cumberland Sound in May. Time spent in the Cumberland Sound region by tagged
manatees, areas of greatest use, and manatee feeding behavior were noted.
TNC-01, an adult (330-cm) female, made three round trips between Cumberland Sound and
Brevard County, 250 km to the south. TNC-02, an adult (305-cm) male, remained in the North
River, Camden County, Georgia from 13 March to mid-April before travelling north to the
Altamaha River/Brunswick area in Glynn County, Georgia. TBC-06, a subadult-sized (260-cm)
male, and TBC-08, an adult (325-cm) female with a calf, were first reported in Kings Bay on 19
May. TBC-06 stayed in Kings Bay until early July, made a southward trip to Ormond Beach,
Volusia County, Florida in mid-July, and returned to Kings Bay by 27 July. In August, he ranged
down to Tiger Island and Fernandina Beach, and by mid-September, he had returned to Brevard
County. TBC-08 was located in the Satilla River and several creeks in the north Cumberland
Sound region until 11 June. She was recovered dead from unknown causes on 4 September in the
St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida.
Several areas in the Cumberland Sound region were frequently used by tagged manatees,
including the Kings Bay Nuclear Submarine Base. The sound appears to be an important travel


corridor for manatees. While water temperatures were low in early spring, the Gilman Paper
Company warm-water discharge provided a source of warmth used by TNC-02 and other
manatees. At high tide, TNC-02 left the effluent to feed on Spartina growing along the river
banks. The Fernandina Municipal Marina and sewage treatment plant outfall provide sources of
fresh water for manatees. The Kings Bay submarine base was a focal point for two tagged
manatees (TNC-01 and TNC-06). Availability of food at both low and high tides, as well as fresh
water, may attract manatees to Kings Bay. Since Kings Bay is a restricted military zone,
manatees may also seek refuge there from boat traffic.
This report covers results obtained in 1987 only. Two additional manatees were radiotagged on
25 February 1988 in Fernandina Beach. Two of the originally tagged animals, TNC-01 and TBC-
06, are still carrying functional transmitters, and may return to Cumberland Sound during spring
or summer 1988.
This research has provided some valuable insights into the ecology of manatees in the
Cumberland Sound region. Through the continued cooperative efforts of the National Park
Service, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Port of Fernandina,
radiotracking efforts will be continued during the spring and summer of 1988 and 1989. The
manatees were captured and tagged by personnel of the Fish & Wildlife Service's Sirenia Project,
with assistance from National Park Service personnel. The radiotracking has been conducted by
Barbara J. Zoodsma, technician for the National Park Service Cooperative at the University of
Georgia, and James A. Valade, working for the Port of Fernandina. Barbara will be continuing
the study in 1988-89 as her master's thesis research at the University of Florida. Lynn Lefebvre

Hobe Sound Seagrass Study. The National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service, and Florida Department of Natural Resources are cooperating in an investigation of the
submarine light regime and ecological status of the seagrasses in Hobe Sound on Florida's east
coast. AN important objective of the study is to evaluate the effect of boat traffic on submarine
light attenuation through the implementation of an experimental no-wake zone. It is hoped that
information on manatee feeding ecology will also be obtained. Hobe Sound is used by manatees
during the winter, and they may have a substantial impact on the seagrass community. Data
collected in the past year have documented the annual cycle in seagrass biomass and productivity
in Hobe Sound, as well as changes in temperature and light available for seagrass photosynthesis.
Results thus far indicate an improving light regime from March through September, followed by
a dramatic reduction in light penetration in November and December, associated with winter cold
fronts and winds from the north. Spring and summer are the periods of highest productivity for
Syringodium and Halodule, respectively, which are the dominant seagrasses in Hobe Sound.
Although seagrass biomass and net productivity are indicative of a healthy and productive
submerged aquatic vegetation community, seagrasses grow on only 15-20% of the bottom, at
depths less than 2 m. An hypothesis has been formulated that if light attenuation were maintained
for an extended period at the best conditions (on average) observed thus far, seagrass coverage
would significantly increase in Hobe Sound. Implementation of a no-wake zone will allow testing


of this hypothesis. Jud Kenworthy, Lynn Lefebvre, Mark Ludlow, and Don Mclvor


Dugong Status in South India. As Chairperson of the Sirenia Specialist Group, I was asked by
the IUCN Special Projects Officer in Geneva, Mr. Simon Stuart, to investigate the status of the
dugong in the Palk Bay-Gulf of Mannar region of southern India as a result of the very disturbing
reports by Dr. Eric Silas and Mr. Bastion Fernando of a huge increase in the illegal take of
dugongs in this area. My visit from December 5 through 11, 1987, was arranged by Mr. J. C.
Daniel of the Bombay Natural History Society.
During my visit, I was escorted by Mr. S. A. Hussain of the Bombay Natural History Society, and
Mr. A. Balakathiresan of the Indian Forestry Service, which has responsibility for conservation
and wildlife management. I visited the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute at Mandapam
and had talks with the Director, Dr. P. V. Rao, and Mr. Bastion Fernando of his staff who had
collected the information on dugong mortality in the region.
After discussions with the local scientists, I am convinced there is a major problem. Silas and
Fernando have data which indicate that 250 dugongs were illegally caught and butchered at the
villages of Kilakarei and Peripattinum alone between April 1983 and August 1984. The harvest
rate is likely to be much less than this at present because of the disturbance associated with the
Tamil terrorists.
In order to evaluate the likely impact of this harvest, it will be necessary to estimate dugong
numbers in this region with an aerial survey, and I had discussions with the Indian officials about
the logistics of doing this.
Meanwhile, we had fruitful discussions about how to reduce the illegal take, and developed
specific suggestions for increased surveillance coupled with a public education program. I have
written to the appropriate Indian officials about implementing these measures. Helene Marsh


Manatee Research in Quintana Roo. A manatee project is currently in progress at the Centro
de Investigaciones de Quintana Roo (C.I.Q.R.O.) in Cancun, with the support of the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service. The general objective of the study is to determine the status and distribution
of the manatee in the state of Quintana Roo. The project also seeks to study the habitats of
manatees and identify the areas where manatees congregate along the Caribbean coast of Mexico.
Existing information about manatees in this region, compiled from interviews and boat and aerial
surveys, shows that the manatee population has drastically declined from past levels, probably
due principally to past hunting pressure. An important population has been found to exist in
Chetumal Bay and the Hondo River, to the south of Quintana Roo. This is probably the most
important population of this species in the Mexican Caribbean. We will continue this study for
six months in order to verify this information. We have also proposed further research in the area,


with the aim of conserving the species in the future. Luz del Carmen Colmenero Rolon

Potential Threat from Mining and Dredging. In view of the above report, it is significant that
an American gravel company is planning a major mining operation on the coast of Quintana Roo.
According to the Rainforest Action Network (Alerts #21, January 1988, and #24, April 1988),
Vulcan Materials (P.O. Box 7497, Birmingham, Alabama 35253) has collaborated with a
Mexican construction firm to establish a 5000-acre quarry in tropical dry forest (a threatened
habitat type) 50 miles south of Cancun. (The company, however, claims that their property covers
only 2800 acres.) They will dynamite the limestone to produce gravel for road-building, and
dredge a deep-water port to ship the gravel to the U.S.
It is not clear whether the quarrying will be carried out on the coast itself or further inland.
However, the construction of the port, presumably involving further dynamiting as well as
dredging, can certainly be expected to have a significant impact on coastal waters, and the area of
coastline in question was considered by Colmenero and Zavala (1986) to provide important
habitat for manatees. A Mexican environmental organization, the Grupo Ecologista del Mayab
(GEMA), has already begun to organize opposition to the mining proposal. It would appear
worthwhile for international conservation organizations to also watch these developments closely.


Dugong Workshop. In December 1987, George Heinsohn and I spent 10 days in Saudi Arabia
as guests of the Meteorological and Environmental Protection Administration, the agency that has
sponsored Tony Preen's work on dugongs in the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea. We spent the first
week helping Tony prepare a draft management plan for dugongs in Arabian waters for
presentation at a workshop in Jeddah the next week. The draft plan was well received by the
biologists and environmental managers from throughout the Kingdom who attended the
workshop and who made many useful suggestions.
The draft plan recognizes the importance of the Arabian region to the conservation of world
dugong stocks and advocates a regional approach to dugong management. The most important
recommendations concern a series of protected areas in the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea.
Management requirements for the most crucial areas include the exclusion of gill netting and
industrial shrimp trawling and the preparation of oil spill contingency plans.
Other recommendations cover the inclusion of the dugong on the regional lists of protected
species, the protection of seagrass beds, the initiation of an environmental awareness program
and the development of a research and monitoring program for dugongs.
The Dugong Replenishment Program in Saudi Arabia was initiated in response to fears that
dugongs had been exterminated in the Arabian Gulf by the Nowruz oil spill. Five years later, the
region has been established as the most important dugong area in the world outside Australia,
with an estimated 6460+_2130 dugongs in the Gulf and a further 830+_270 in the Red Sea. The
Saudi Arabian Meteorological and Environmental Protection Administration is to be


congratulated for supporting an excellent research program. I hope that this research will lead to
an equally successful management program for dugongs in this region. Helene Marsh


Sirenian Bibliography Project. As many of you know, for some time (actually since 1967!) I
have been at work on an exhaustive, fully annotated bibliography and index of the literature on
sirenians and desmostylians. Since this project has now reached the mature age of 21, I think it is
about time for a progress report.
The bibliography presently exists in the form of some three to five thousand handwritten 3x5
index cards. These include references dating from the early 16th century to the present, on all
aspects of sirenian biology, paleobiology, and ethnobiology, as well as on the extinct
Desmostylia. About a third of these are indexed and annotated. The index consists of several
thousand additional cards and over 800 subject headings, including all published scientific names
and combinations ever used for sirenians or desmostylians, and all reported species of food plants
and parasites. Each index entry is an abbreviated citation (by author and date) of the work
indexed, followed by a brief annotation and an exact page reference.
This project has been proceeding very slowly for many years because it has been emphatically a
spare-time effort; I have allowed many other activities to take precedence over it. Now, spurred
by signs of activity in other areas of marine mammal bibliography, I am rather rapidly converting
the files to computer-processable form. At this writing all of the author entries through the letter
E have been loaded into the computer, as well as all of the subject headings for the index (but no
actual index entries).
The software I have adopted for this purpose is called Notebook II, which is described as a
"database manager for unlimited text." It is available from Pro/Tem Software, Inc., 2363
Boulevard Circle, Walnut Creek, Calif. 94595 USA (phones 415-947-1000, 800-826-2222), for
the remarkably low price of about $189. The most recent issue is version 2.3. It is available for
IBM and compatible computers, the HP 150, HP 110, and other MSDOS-based computers. (My
machine is an IBM PC-XT.) It permits the use of international characters, underlining, and
italicization, which I am making full use of. It also permits Boolean searches of records and fields
and has many other desirable features. So far I am pretty well satisfied with its capabilities, and
suggest that anyone who wants to use what I eventually produce in its electronic form might want
to purchase a copy of this very versatile program.
My chief aim, however, has always been to produce the bibliography and index in hard-copy (i.e.,
printed) form. I find paper copies easier to use for many purposes than magnetic disks, and a lot
more convenient for those users who don't have instant access to a computer! I have designed the
index to accomplish on paper most of what the typical "keyword" systems accomplish with on-
line computer searches (my indexing system is not keyword-based), so a computer will not be
needed to make efficient use of the bibliography. However, the computerization I am now
undertaking, aside from being the most efficient way to produce a hard copy, will generate the


still more versatile electronic version with no additional effort, so I expect that those wishing to
acquire copies will eventually have a choice of either or both versions. The printed version will
also include several appendices, one of which will be an up-to-date classification and synonymy
of the Sirenia and Desmostylia.
If progress continues at near its present rate, I should have the entire bibliography (including both
verified and unverified citations, but without the index) computerized by the end of 1988. (Or
soon thereafter ...?) This would permit the production of a first printed edition that would be
similar in form to, but far more inclusive than, the sirenian bibliography compiled in 1979 by
Marsh, Channells, and Morrissey and currently the largest and most up-to-date one available.
However, I would prefer to delay publication until at least a first draft of the index is ready,
because the bibliography will be of only limited use without it. Please give me your thoughts on
this point.
No decision has yet been made concerning place or manner of publication, or price. However, I
expect that revised editions would be produced at intervals as I work through the huge backlog of
verification and indexing and continue to incorporate the current literature.
Meanwhile, I ask all my colleagues to continue to send me reprints and other citations for
inclusion in this bibliography. Its aim is no less than the greatest degree of completeness
achievable. I feel and I consider myself a good judge of the matter that no one should ever
have the misfortune of doing this job over again! For the sake of posterity, please help me get all
the fish into the net!
Finally, it should be noted that efforts are also underway at several other places in the U.S., such
as Woods Hole, to create marine mammal bibliographic databases. Those involved have been in
at least informal contact, and we have become aware that several different software packages (e.
g., Cymate, Inmagic, Notebook) are being used for this purpose. The people at Woods Hole seem
to feel that interface programs can probably be written without much difficulty to translate data
among these various packages. However, I strongly suspect it would be a good idea for the
parties concerned to seriously look into this as soon as possible, to avoid nasty surprises later. I
suggest that it might be best to create a formal Bibliography Committee under the auspices of the
Society for Marine Mammalogy, with the aims of coordinating these various projects, insuring
mutual compatibility of software and other features, exploring the possibility of on-line access,
and preventing duplication of effort. DPD


The Papua New Guinea Museum holds specimens of the following formalin-fixed tissues of

Adrenal Caecum Fat


Heart muscle Foetal muscle Liver
Salivary gland Kidney Tongue
Spleen Eye Thyroid

These are available to interested scientists, who should contact: Dr. Jim Menzies, National
Museum & Art Gallery, P.O. Box 5560, Boroko, Papua New Guinea.


The following abstracts are of papers and posters presented at the Seventh Biennial Conference
on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Miami, Florida, Dec. 5-9, 1987.

The following abstracts are of papers presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of
Mammalogists, Albuquerque, New Mexico, June 21-25, 1987.


Anonymous. 1986. Short news item Metaxytherium calvertense. Ecphora 2(2): 2.

Albrecht, H. 1986. [Mermaids.] Dieren 2(6): 178-179. [In Dutch.]

Anderson, P.K. 1986. Dugong behavior and ecology. A study in SHark Bay, Western Australia.
Explorers Jour. 64(4): 162- 167.

Bertram, G.C.L. 1987. Antarctica, Cambridge, conservation and population: a biologist's story.
Publ. by the author (Ricardo's, Graffham, Petworth, Sussex GU28 OPU, England; L-8 per copy
postpaid): viii + 208. [Sirenians, pp. 112-125.]

Blair, D. 1986. Remarkable parasites in a unique host. Parasitology Today 2(7): S21-S22.

Colares, E.P., and L.C. Ferreira. 1987. Ocorre^ncia de po'lipo hamartomatoso no intestine
delgado do peixe-boi da Amazo^nia Trichechus inunguis (Mammalia: Sirenia). Anais da 2a.
Reunia-o de Trabalho de Especialistas em Mami'feros Aqua'ticos da Ame'rica do Sul (Rio de
Janeiro, Aug. 4-8, 1986): 39.

Colares, E.P., G.R.S. Moreira, and G.A. Ribeiro. 1987. Amamentac,a-o de peixe-boi amazo^nico
(Trichechus inunguis) em cativeiro. Anais da 2a. Reunia-o de Trabalho de Especialistas em
Mami'feros Aqua'ticos da Ame'rica do Sul (Rio de Janeiro, Aug. 4-8, 1986): 40-41.

Colares, I.G., and E.P. Colares. 1987. Variac,a~o annual de vegetais que servem de alimentac,a~o


para o peixe-boi amazo^nico (Mammalia Sirenia). Anais da 2a. Reunia-o de Trabalho de
Especialistas em Mami'feros Aqua'ticos da Ame'rica do Sul (Rio de Janeiro, Aug. 4-8, 1986): 42-

Cruz, A.G., and R. Delgado. 1986. Distribution of the macrophytes of Lake Yojoa, Honduras.
Rev. Biol. Trop. 34(1): 141-150. [In Spanish; Engl. summary.]

Elias, P.M., G.K. Menon, S. Grayson, B.E. Brown, and S.J. Rehfeld. 1987. Avian
sebokeratocytes and marine mammal lipokeratinocytes: structural, lipid biochemical, and
functional considerations. Amer. J. Anat. 180(2): 161-177.

Geraci, J.R., and D.J. St. Aubin. 1987. Effects of parasites on marine mammals. Internatl. Jour.
Parasitol. 17(2): 407-414.

Kamiya, T. 1986. Steller's sea cow and gray whale. Aquabiology 8(3): 161. [In Japanese.]

Kimura, M., H. Kokubu, S. Kumano, and M. Matsui. 1987. Desmostylian molar found from
Shimukappu-mura, Yufutsu-gun, Hokkaido. Earth Science 41(1): 61-64. [In Japanese.]

Kimura, M., and H. Oguri. 1985. Largest desmostylian humerus and patella. Jour. Fossil
Research 18: 11-20. [In Japanese; Engl. summary.]

Klarner, D. 1986. Seekuhe vor dem Untergang? Kosmos (Stuttgart) 82(8): 87.

Mate, B. 1986. Tracking marine mammals by satellite: identification of critical habitats.
Whalewatcher 20(2): 8- 9.

Mate, B., and J.P. Reid. 1987. Long-term tracking of manatees through the Argos satellite
system. Pp. 213-220 in Proceedings of Service Argos, Inc. International Users Conference and
Exhibit, Greenbelt, Maryland.

Ness, P.S. 1986. Introducing the West Indian manatee. Freshwater Mar. Aquar. 9(10): 50-51.

Nielsen, B. 1986. The Global Plan of Action for the conservation, management and utilization of
marine mammals. Ambio 15(3): 134-136.

Pilleri, G. 1987. The Sirenia of the Swiss Molasse with a descriptive catalogue of the fossil
Sirenia preserved in Swiss collections. Ostermundigen (Switzerland), Brain Anatomy Institute: 1-
114. 59 pls.


Thorhaug, A. 1987. Large-scale seagrass restoration in a damaged estuary. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 18
(8): 442-446.

Walsh, M.T., G.D. Bossart, W.G. Young, Jr., and P.M. Rose. 1987. Omphalitis and peritonitis in
a young West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus). J. Wildl. Dis. 23(4): 702-704.

Zhou, K. 1986. An outline of marine mammalogical researches in China. Acta Theriol. Sin. 6(3):
219-232. [In Chinese; Engl. summ.]


Dr. Iyad A. Nader, P. 0. Box 2491, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Dr. Daniel K. Odell, Sea World Research Institute, Florida Marine Science Center, P.O. Box
590471, Orlando, Fla. 32859-0471 USA



Information has reached Sirenews of a most regrettable incident involving the capture of dugongs
for public display. It seems that personnel of a well-known aquarium recently undertook an
expedition for this purpose to a Third World country where dugongs are reportedly very scarce.
With the permission of that country's government, they located dugongs and successfully
captured one for their institution. But in the process they are alleged to have accidentally killed a
total of five other dugongs, including the mother of the individual captured. Worse yet, the
aquarium staff then made strenuous efforts to conceal the deaths by secretly disposing of the
Good displays of endangered species in zoos and aquaria increase public awareness of and
support for species preservation efforts. It is worthwhile to take a few dugongs and manatees out
of the wild so that they and their wild cousins can be appreciated, and in the long run protected,
by the millions of people who will inevitably determine their fate. But this cannot excuse
incompetent handling and excessive mortality of animals, or guilty attempts to hide the evidence.
Such blunders only give ammunition to those who would shut down all captive animal facilities,
beginning with the commercial ones. Many aquaria around the world (including the one involved
in this incident) have shown that they can do a conscientious job of keeping marine mammals.
For their own survival as well as that of the animals, they must not relax their standards. These
standards should include, among others: proper training and supervision of personnel in capture


and handling techniques; openness to public scrutiny of all matters relating to animal care; and a
policy of taking animals only from populations known to be sufficiently numerous, even if
permits are more easily obtainable elsewhere and even if such a policy rules out the taking
altogether. To do otherwise will be increasingly condemned as unethical by both the scientific
community and the public. DPD


From January through August 1987, 27 Florida manatees were killed by boats or barges, up
slightly from 25 for the same period of 1986.


The IUCN Species Survival Commission has been forced to cut back on its support of Specialist
Group newsletters, including this one. In order to meet our publication costs, we must therefore
institute a subscription policy, beginning with the first issue of 1989.
Executive and Corresponding Members of the Sirenia Specialist Group (listed in Sirenews No. )
will continue to receive the newsletter free of charge and need take no action. All other
individuals and institutions are asked to subscribe at the rate of US$5.00 per year, payable in U.S.
currency only. Those with addresses in the U.S. will be required to pay; those in other countries
for whom payment in U.S. currency is difficult or impossible will, upon request, be sent the
newsletter free....

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