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UNION INTERNATIONALE POUR LA CONSERVATION DE LA NATURE ET DE SES RESSOURCES INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR CONSERVATION OF NATURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES Commission de la sauvegarde des especes Species Survival Commission Sirenews (ISSN 1017-3439) is published in April and October and is edited by Cynthia R. Taylor and James A. Powell Sea to Shore Alliance, 4411 Bee Ridge Rd. #490, Sarasota, FL 34233 USA Sirenews is available online at http://sea2shore.org/publica tions/sirenews/ and www.sirenian.org/sirenews.html April 2007 IN THIS ISSUE WEST AFRICAN MANATEES ADDED TO CITES APPENDIX I (pg. 6) PROPOSED REINTRODUCTION OF ANTILLEAN MANATEES IN GUADELOUPE, FRENCH WE ST INDIES (pg. 12) UPDATES FROM SIRENIA SP ECIALIST GROUP REGIONS The 2013-2016 IUCN quadrennial cycle prompted a re-organization of the Sirenia Specialist Group (SSG) at the request of the SSG Co-Chairs, Drs. Helene Marsh and Benjamin Morales. As part of the re-structuring, six regions were identified and Regional Vice-Chairs were appointed and have subsequently developed goals and objectives in th eir regions. Below please find updates from the South American, Meso-American, and Southeast USA regions. South American Regional Group Drs. Miriam Marmontel and Nata ly Castelblanco were appointe d Vice-Chairs of the SSG South American Regional Group. The goals and obj ectives of the group are outlined below. Main Goal: To work in coordination for the study and conservation of Amazonian Manatees ( Trichechus inunguis ) and Antillean Manatees ( T. m. manatus ) in South America. Objectives: 1. To review and update the conservation status of the Amazonian Manatee and Antillean Manatee in South America; 2. To be an expert resource panel fo r the IUCN and other stakeholders; Sire news Newsletter of the IUCN Sirenia Specialist Group Apri l 2013 Funded by the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission Number 5 9
Sirenews No. 59 2 April 2013 3. To collaborate in building local capacities for research and conservation of manatees in South America; 4. To promote and facilitate communication and collaboration among manatee researchers; 5. To identify research, conservation and education pr iorities for manatees and their habitats and to identify regional gaps; 6. To help to fill up conservation needs by id entifying potential sources of funding and technical/scientific advice; 7. To raise and debate issues on manatee conserva tion and generate recommenda tions to organizations and governments; 8. To promote educational outreach to multiple stakeholder groups including decision makers, local communities and the public. To facilitate communication a dedicated South Amer ican Region email address is now available: email@example.com. -Miriam Marmontel and Nataly Castelblanco Sirenia Specialist Group South Amer ican Region Membership List 2013 Name Qual. Role Country Affiliation Position Email Miriam Marmontel PhD Regional co-chair Brazil Instituto Mamirau Wildlife researcher firstname.lastname@example.org Nataly CastelblancoMartnez PhD Regional co-chair Colombia Oceanic Society Marine Mammal Researcher email@example.com Diogo de Souza MSc student Member Brazil AMPA/INPA Collaborator/ Researcher firstname.lastname@example.org Cristina Tofoli MSc Member Brazil IPE Project coordinator email@example.com Fabia Luna PhD Member Brazil CMA/ICMB io firstname.lastname@example.org Renata Sousa-Lima PhD Member Brazil Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte Professor of Animal Behavior email@example.com Joo Carlos Gomes Borges PhD student Member Brazil Fundao Mamferos Aquticos DirectorPresident firstname.lastname@example.org Stella Maris Lazzarini MSc Member Brazil CPPMA Coordinato r stella.lazzarini@ eletronorte.gov.br Ana Carolina Meirelles PhD Member Brazil Aquasis C oordinator email@example.com Dalila Caicedo MSc Member Colombia Fundacin Omacha Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org Sarita Kendall MSc Member Colombia Fundacin Natutama email@example.com Susana Caballero PhD Member Colombia Universidad de lo s Andes sj.caballe firstname.lastname@example.org Katherine Arvalo BSc Member Colombia Fundacin Macuticos email@example.com Victor Utreras MSc Member Ecuador WCS firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Benoit de Thoisy PhD, DVM Member French Guiana Kwata Director firstname.lastname@example.org Jorge Calvimontes PhD student Member Peru / Brazil Ncleo de Estudos e Pesquisas Ambientais (NEPAM) Universidade Estadual de Campinas. Collaborator researcher email@example.com Javier Velazquez MSc student Member Peru Acobia Dir ector firstname.lastname@example.org Adda Manzanilla MSc Member Venezuela Universidad Pedaggica Experimental Libertador Profesora Investigadora email@example.com Carlos Silva MSc Member Venezuela Asociacin Lati noamericana Studbook keeper firstname.lastname@example.org
Sirenews No. 59 3 April 2013 Name Qual. Role Country Affiliation Position Email de Parques Zoolgicos y Acuarios (ALPZA) Manates ALPZA Caryn SelfSullivan PhD Add'l member USA Nova Southeastern University/Sirenian International Faculty/ President & Cofounder email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Ester Quintana PhD Add'l member Guatemal a University of South Florida Adjunct Professor email@example.com Meso-American Regional Group The Meso-America Regional Group of the Sire nia Specialist Group is happy to confirm its membership of 19 Sirenia experts from nine c ountries. The group members are: Alejandro Ortega Argueta, Anmari Alvarez Aleman, Antonio Mignucci Benjamin Morales Vela, Caryn Self-Sullivan, Claudia Tippett, Coralie Nouriss on, Daniel Gonzalez, Daniel H. Sl one, David Murphy, Ester Quintana Rizzo, Fabia Luna, Haydee Dominguez Tejo, James Powell, John E. Reynolds, Leon David Olivera, Nataly Castelblanco, Nicole Auil Gomez and Robert Bonde. Together, through a participatory process, the Group has charted six obje ctives under which it will function: 1. Further determine the conservation status of the Antillean Manatee in Meso-America to contribute to the review of its IUCN List St atus and country assessments. 2. Provide information to the Sirenia Special ist Group Co-Chairs and IUCN on Antillean Manatee assessments and diagnostics on conservati on needs and actions in Meso-America. 3. Foster communication and co llaboration among group members for effective research and conservation of the Antillean Manatee in Meso-America. 4. Guide and advise interested parties on info rmation sources, learning opportunities, research, conservation and management issues of the Antillean Manatee in Meso-America. 5. Strengthen regional conservation init iatives of manatees and their habi tat, particularly, but not limited to, coordination of marine protected area systems with key manatee sites. 6. Facilitate and undertake actions for the effective conservation of the Antillean manatee in MesoAmerica. We will strive to achieve these objectives thro ugh the implementation of an action strategy that will be developed by October 2013. We welcome the s upport from all managers, researchers, students, and educators who work towards the recovery of ma natees in Meso-America. The Group Vice-chairs, Nicole Auil Gomez and Haydee Dominguez Tejo, can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org. -Nicole Auil Gomez and Haydee Dominguez Tejo United States Regional Group The membership for the United States Regiona l Group is still being developed, but Drs. Christopher Marshall and Grah am Worthy have been appointed Vice -Chairs. Objectives of the group include: 1. Promote policies that protect a nd conserve Florida manatees and their critical habitats in the southeast USA at the state and Federal levels. 2. Assist in bringing attention to rehabilitation efforts and investigations regarding manatee mortality events. 3. Assist in bringing atte ntion to the potential impacts of climat e change on the distribution of manatees in the southeast USA. 4. Promote educational efforts re garding sirenian conservation in the region to a broad array of stakeholders.
Sirenews No. 59 4 April 2013 5. To be an expert resource panel for the IUCN and other stakeholders. The group will focus on the following issues of concern: 1. Red tide and episodic mass die-offs 2. Habitat loss (seagrass a nd SAV degradation and loss) 3. Coastal development 4. Boat speed zones 5. Harassment in sanctuaries -Dr. Christopher Marshall (email@example.com) and Dr. Graham Worthy (firstname.lastname@example.org) LETTER TO THE CITES SECRETARIAT FROM SIRENIAN SPECIALISTS February 7, 2013 CITES Secretariat International Environment House 11 Chemin des Anmones CH 1219 Chtelaine, Geneva Switzerland Tel: +41 (0)22 917 81 39/40 Fax: +41 (0)22 797 34 17 Email: email@example.com To whom it may concern As sirenian specialists, we would like to make the following points relevant to the proposal to list the West African Manatee on CITES Appendix I : Precautionary approach needed because of lack of robust information on population size and trends As the TRAFFIC advice indicates no reliable population estimate exists, but there may be fewer than 10 000 individuals and IUCN assessed the species as Vulnerable in 2008. The population trend criterion (Criterion A) is usually the most appropriate IUCN criterion for evaluating the status of aquatic mammals. Estimating the population size and trends of West African manatees as required by the IUCN Red Listing process is very difficult. The species mostly occurs in turbid waters, surfaces cryptically and only for short periods, and can spend long but variable periods on the bottom. In addition, the probability of detecting West African manatees varies greatly with environmental conditions both among and within sites. These challenges are compounded for the West African manatee because it in developing countries which lack the resources required for expensive surveys. Thus there is no robust information about the population size and trends of West African manatees. High likelihood of IUU cross border trade despite lack of formal reports The TRAFFIC Advice indicates that current legislation in all range States prohibits trade in any part of the species and little international trade has been reported since the species was listed in Appendix II in 1975. Population models indicate that the status of sirenian populations is most affected by the mortality rates of adults. Hunting is the major source of anthropogenic mortality across
Sirenews No. 59 5 April 2013 the range of the West African manatee. Specialist hunters are widespread and have been recently reported from many areas: the Bijags Archipelago in Guinea Bissau, the Sine Saloum Delta of Senegal, the Ogouue River in Gabon, the Congo River in Angola, and throughout Cameroon, Lake Volta (Ghana), Togo, Benin and Nigeria. In other areas, fishers supplement their income by hunting and incidental capture in fishing nets was the most frequently reported threat in surveys carried out in preparation for the UNEP/CMS Action Plan. Incidental capture was reported to account for 72% of 209 deaths reported in Guinea Bissau from 1990 to 1998. Thus West African manatee is aquatic bushmeat. It is inevitable that illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) trade in manatee bushmeat occurs in West Africa where manatees are worth more dead than alive. Thus the fact that little international trade has been reported is not a reliable indication of whether such trade occurs. In addition, in Nigeria, manatees are taken for exhibit in local zoos. Toba Aquarium in Japan also has a West African manatee exhibit. Wild caught manatees from Guinea Bissau are offered for sale on the internet as of February 2013. Future prospects require precautionary management Eighteen of the 21 range states have a low Human Development Index; the remaining states have a medium Human Development Index. Climate change is projected to increase pressure on the worlds fisheries with resultant increased food insecurity. A negative correlation between the catches of subsistence fishers and wild meat has already been established for West Africa and thus the impact of climate change on fisheries is likely to increase the pressure to hunt West African manatees and increase the IUU trade in manatee bushmeat, especially as the human population is projected to grow exceptionally fast in West Africa in comparison to every other region in the world. Marsh et al. (2011) agreed with the IUCNs 2009 assessment of Vulnerable (A3cd; C1) because of the high probability that a 30% or greater reduction in population size will result within 60 years (three generations). They concluded that the level of threats, particularly hunting and incidental catch, will continue to increase throughout the range resulting in near extirpation in some regions. They expected this situation to be exacerbated by human population increase and the resultant habitat destruction from activities such as urban development, mangrove harvesting, and silting of rivers and dams and that threats will be amplified by the high poverty that is expected to increase as a result of climate change in West Africa. Marsh et al. (2011) concluded that the West African manatee is the extant sirenian of greatest risk of extinction because of the high levels of human poverty in many parts of its range. Value of a CITES appendix I listing An appendix I listing could provide important support to West African range states that will help them implement improved hunting and trade controls. It will also help them raise the profile of the plight of this forgotten sirenian internally, regionally and internationally. In our experience, such a listing can also provide an impetus for conservation funding agencies to increase efforts and resources for research and conservation, thereby helping meet the targets of the West African Manatee Action Plan.
Sirenews No. 59 6 April 2013 We understand that CITES can act in a precautionary way to add species to its appendices and, given the difficulties inherent in studying this species, the poverty in the region and the complex national boundaries across which the West African manatee ranges, there would seem to be a very strong case for placing the species on CITES appendix 1, especially as all range states except Angola are parties to the Convention. Please contact us if you have further queries. The contents of this letter are largely based on Marsh, H, OShea, TJ, Reynolds, JE III. 2011. The ecology and conservation of Sirenia: dugongs and manatees. Cambridge University Press. 521pp. Helene Marsh Distinguished Professor Environmental Science James Cook University Australia (firstname.lastname@example.org) Benjamin Morales Manatee Project Director Chetumal, Mexico, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur. (email@example.com) AFRICAN MANATEES RAISED TO CITES APPENDIX I In early March the Convention on In ternational Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) met at their 16th Conference of Parties (COP) in Bangkok, Thailand. On the agenda was a proposal to raise the African manatee from Appendix II to Appendix I, which was drafted by the representative from Senegal. Benin and Sierra Leone also joined as proponents. For the past year many others also worked on this proposal, including myself and colleagues from the Species Survival Network. Sire nian Specialist Group Cochairs Helene Marsh and Benjamin Morales wrote an eloquent and strong letter in support of the proposal (see above), and Wetlands In ternational hosted a meeting in Daka r, Senegal for range states to discuss the manatee proposal just prior to the CO P. When the proposal was presented in Bangkok, the range states quickly reached a c onsensus to up list the African manatee to CITES Appendix I, and it gained final approval during the plenary session the following week. This move is remarkable considering the lack of population an d illegal trade data that currently exists for Afri can manatees, and the fact that the proposal had previously been unsupported by the CITES Animals Committee, but it speaks well of the interest of countries around the world wishing to protect this important species. We hope to keep the momentum going to make sure real changes start happening on the ground, particularly increased enforcement of existing regulations and studies to assess the e ffect of illegal hunting on populations. Species Survival Networ k wrote a declaration that was signed by 12 range countries (see below) in support of specific actions for African manatees just prior to the CITES COP, and we plan to connect these representatives with African manatee re searcher network members in their countries. We are also creating manatee anti-poaching informationa l posters to be distributed to every wildlife law enforcement agency in all countries in which African manatees occur. Lucy Keith Diagne (Sea to Shore Alliance, lkeit firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sirenews No. 59 7 April 2013 DECLARATION OF WEST AFRICA N MANATEE RANGE STATES (signed by 12 range countr ies on 19 February 2013) Declaration of West African Manatee Range States Adopted by Benin, Cte DIvoire, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone in Dakar, Senegal on 19 February 2013 CONCERNED about the ongoing decline of the West African manatee ( Trichechus senegalensis ) throughout its range due to the cumulative and synergistic impacts of habitat loss and degradation, climate change, illegal hunting and illegal international trade in parts and products; AWARE that despite national, regional and international initiatives intended to strengthen the conservation of the species and increase the soundness of its management, the West African manatee remains poorly known and range States continue to experience significant challenges in the implementation and enforcement of their laws; SUPPORTIVE of the forthcoming reassessment of the species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); FULLY COMMITTED to the overarching goal of the Action Plan for the Conservation of the West African Manatee adopted in 2008 by the Convention on Migratory Species under its Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Conservation of the Manatee and Small Cetaceans of Western Africa and Macaronesia, which is to significantly improve the conservation status of the West African manatee across its range through the implementation of strategic policy, research, conservation and awareness actions; FULLY SUPPORTIVE of the proposal submitted by Senegal, Benin and Sierra Leone to the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), requesting the transfer of the West African manatee to Appendix I; CONSCIOUS of Goal 3 of the CITES Strategic Vision for 2008 2013 which provides that CITES shall endeavour to Contribute to significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by ensuring that CITES and other multilateral instruments and processes are coherent and mutually supportive. NOW THEREFORE, THE WEST AFRICAN MANATEE RANGE STATES THAT ARE SIGNATORIES TO THIS DECLARATION: DECLARE the following to be priority short and mid term objectives under the CMS Action Plan for national conservation, research, enforcement and awareness initiatives in the range STATES; UNDERTAKE to endeavour to implement the actions listed under each objective, working in collaboration with international partners and interested stakeholders; SEEK financial, scientific, and other support from the international community and interested stakeholders for the implementation of the priority actions defined in this declaration. Objective 1 Improve policies and legislation for manatee protection, and strengthen their implementation 1.1. Develop an enforcement poster advising that capture and trade of manatees is illegal, to be distributed for display at markets, border crossing, airports, national parks and government buildings in the range states; 1.2. Create identification manuals relevant to local trade dynamics to assist in the identification of manatee products in trade, including meat, oil, fat and bones; 1.3. Update and publicise penalties for violation of manatee protection laws and rewards/incentives for identification/reporting of offenders; 1.4. Provide community based incentive packages for communities that elect to refrain from manatee hunting;
Sirenews No. 59 8 April 2013 1.5. Collaborate with police and wildlife law enforcement authorities to strengthen enforcement at markets where manatees are traded; 1.6. Collaborate with interested stakeholders on the preparation of a study focused on illegal trade to better understand trade routes and trade patterns and define, based on the results of this study, trans boundary measures that could be adopted to stop illegal trade. Objective 2 Improve research on the West African Manatee and use relevant scientific information for its conservation and management 2.1. Initiate or strengthen collaboration with interested researchers and universities to facilitate research and fieldwork based on relevant research protocols that will document information on the status and distribution of the species and compile data on threats including hunting, habitat loss, pollution, and climate change; 2.2. Contribute to the work presently undertaken by experts on the determination of distinct populations throughout the range of the species to increase understanding of population dynamics and details on population estimates throughout the range. 2.3. Collaborate with interested stakeholders on the preparation of a funding proposal for the organization of a needs assessment workshop among range States to focus especially on the definition of priority areas for surveys and other relevant scientific research. 2.4. Support and contribute relevant information to the forthcoming reassessment of the species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature through enhanced collaboration with the IUCN/SSC Sirenian Specialist Group (dugongs and manatees). Objective 3. Reduce pressures on the West African Manatee through the restoration and safeguarding of its habitats 3.1 Identify obstructed water courses that currently prevent the free movement of manatees; 3.2 Promote management options at hydraulic works that enable the passage of manatees; 3.3 Investigate feasibility of refuges in manatee habitat that prevent hunting and reduce the incidental capture of manatees in fishing nets. Tocc tocc in Lac Guiers, Senegal and Gbundapi in Sierra Leone are promising examples. Objective 4. Promote a wide appreciation of the West African Manatee and its ecological and cultural values through targeted communication, education and public outreach 4.1. Increase production and distribution of educational materials to raise public awareness (posters, coloring books, stickers, manatee costumes for education programs, videos, etc.) 4.2. Develop a poster illustrating the value of, and threats to, manatees for distribution to schools, public buildings, markets, etc. in relevant languages. 4.3. Collaborate with national media to disseminate/broadcast information about manatees and wetlands and foster public awareness. 4.4. Collaborate with stakeholders, including international and non governmental organizations, to develop an education program that can be specifically tailored for use in all range states to educate the public about the
Sirenews No. 59 9 April 2013 manatee, its conservation, its biology/ecology, threats to its survival, and the relevant laws protecting the species and its habitat. NEWS FROM THE SECRETAR IAT TO THE UNEP/CMS DUGONG MOU Five New Signatories to the Dugong M OU: Bangladesh, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia On 19 February 2013, at the Second Signatory State Meeting (SS2) in Manila, four countries signed the UNE P/CMS Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs a nd their Habitats thr oughout their Range (Dugong MOU): Bangladesh, Egypt, Somalia and Sudan. In addi tion, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia confirmed its support towards the protection of dugongs and their v ital seagrass hab itats by becoming the Signatory State to Dugong MOU on 3 March 2013 in Abu Dhabi. Th is brings the total numbe r of signatories to 26. Second Signatory State Meeting ( SS2) Sees 26 Countries Assemble for the Progression of Dugong and Seagrass Conservation, 19 -20 February 2013 SS2 of the Dugong MOU was hosted by the G overnment of the Philippines on 19 and 20 February 2013 in Manila, Philippines. 26 countries at tended the two-day meeting to discuss priorities in conserving dugongs. Two leading authorities on sirenians, Profe ssor Helene Marsh from James Cook University (Australia) and Dr. John Reynolds from Mote Marine Laboratory (United States of America), gave presentations highlighting the ch allenges facing conservation mana gement of dugong and seagrasses. Particular reference was made to the importance of holistic approaches which address socio-economic factors that prevent positive behavioral change of local fishing communities, customization of reform policies to suit specific challenges and the necessity of political will. Signatory States requested assistance from the Secretariat for their respective efforts to conser ve and manage dugongs and their seagrass habitats; including facilitating co mmunication, sourcing funding and accessing technical assistance. The Signatory States also requested the Secretariat to work with the IUCN Sirenia Specialist Group to develop a joint work program. Attendees of the SS2 of the Dugong Mou, Manila Philippines 19-20 Feburary 2013.
Sirenews No. 59 10 April 2013 Progressing the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Project through the Preparation Phase In association with the SS2 Meeting of the Dugong MOU held on 19 and 20 February 2013, an International GEF Workshop for E nhancing the Conservation Effec tiveness of Seagrass Ecosystems Supporting Globally Significant Populations of Dugongs across the Indian and Pacific Ocean Basins Project (Short name: GEF D ugong and Seagrass Conservation Pr oject) was held on 21 and 22 February 2013 in the same venue. The GEF D ugong and Seagrass Conservation Project has a global objective to increase effectiveness of cons ervation efforts by identifying key dugong populations; reviewing underlying causes of threats to dugongs a nd their seagrass habitats; and identifying relevant, long term conservation management solutions. The Secretariat will be supporti ng 8 Country Partners in the c oordination of community-based and field-based research efforts; development of incentives to promote behavioral change; and implementation of socio-economically viable po licies, with the aim of generating community stewardship of dugongs. The 8 Count ry Partners to the GEF Projec t are: Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor-L este, and Vanuatu. Three countries (Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands) are i nvolved in the project as Supporting Partners. The GEF Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Proj ect is nearing the end of the Project Preparation Phase: all Country Partners who will be running projects are finalizing their project proposals to address a range of key th reats to dugongs and their critical seagrass habitats. The Project is expected to be implemented over the next five years, with a completion date of 2018. Other Projects The Project Global Dugong Genetics is an ongoing initiative conducted by James Cook University of Australia to identify the linea ge of dugong populations. The project will enable researchers to assess the capacity of small dugong popul ations to recover by identifying discrete breeding populations and the occurr ence of genetic mixing between populations. Professor David Blair has over 20 years researching marine megafauna and is currently leading the research in dugong genetics among the Range States of the Dugong MOU. The Project Addressing Net Fishery Bycatch in th e Gulf aims to contribute to efforts to reduce the risk of incidental bycatch of large marine animals and habitat degradation associated with net fisheries in 8 countries: Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qata r, Saudi Arabia and UAE. The project will include a number of partners such as the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD), the Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS), the Environment Society of Oman (ESO), the IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU, the League of Arab States (LAS), the UNE P Regional Office for West Asia (UNEP/ROWA), the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment, and participating state governments. The Secretariat is curr ently seeking funding for the project. The Dugong, Seagrass and Coasta l Communities Initiativ e (DSCC Initiative) was launched in February 2012 to improve livelihoods and create economic opportunity in coastal communities in exchange for the conservation of du gongs and their habitats. The Initiative sets out the rationale and framework for a range of activit ies currently being initiated, s upported and progressed by the Dugong MOU Secretariat. At the Second Signatory State Meeting in Manila, the DSCC Initiative was endorsed as the primary implementation platform for dugong a nd seagrass conservation in developing countries for the coming 3-5 years and beyond, subject to securing funding. For additional news on activities of the D ugong MOU Secretariat, follow our noticeboard: http://www.cms.int/species /dugong/dugong_noticeboard.htm
Sirenews No. 59 11 April 2013 UPDATE FROM SIRENIAN RED LIST AUTHORITY Hello All. As noted in Sirenews 58 I have been appointed the new Red List Authority for the Sirenian Specialist Group. I confess to being a little overwhelmed or unsur e of just what that entails, but Ill endeavor to be fully up to speed soon. For those who dont recognize my name, I worked on dugongs with Helene Marsh, starting back in 1992 and then on and off until returning to work at James Cook University full time between 1999 and 2008. Since 2009 Ive been working in the Species Listing Section of the Australian Governments environment department, with just the occasional foray into publishing si nce. Nevertheless, the work is complementary given the similarity in the criteria used. The impetus for writing now is that Ive re cently been advised that under the IUCN plan to conduct another global mammal assessment they would like the Sirenian reassessments by 31 July 2013 This date is negotiable, but if it is to be altered I s hould make my request very soon. As Im new to this and not at all familiar with the IUCN systems I intend to ask for a small delay (a month or two) but in fairness I dont believe I can ask for a substantial extension given the small number of Sirenian species. A second important date is to report on any taxonomic changes by 30 June 2013 I believe this is more straightforward, so I don t propose to negotiate a change unless advised otherwise by someone in response to this notice. If people want to discuss changes to those dates, or to volunteer information for the assessments, please do so as soon as you can. In th e meantime Ill start to familiarize myself better with the process and presumably start co ntacting people directly for information. My preferred contact email is Ivan.Lawler@jcu.edu. au but Ive missed a couple of key emails via that address, so please also copy any emails to Ivan.Lawler@environment.gov.au. Thanks and I look forward to corresponding with some of you more directly. Ivan Lawler SIXTH INTERNATIO NAL SIRENIAN SYMPOSIUM 2013 A Sixth International Sirenian Symposium is being planned in conjunction with the 20th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals which will be held in Dunedin, New Zealand from 9-13 December 2013 (http://www.marincema mmalscience.org/index.php? option=com_content& view=article&id=549&Itemid=65). You dont have to be a member of the Society to attend the meeting, although registration is much cheaper for me mbers. The aim of the symposium is to foster communication between sirenian researchers, managers, and policy makers from around the globe. Additional information rega rding this workshop is forthcoming in the next few months. Organizers: Nicole Adimey (email@example.com) and Bob Bonde (firstname.lastname@example.org) LOCAL NEWS BRAZIL Regional cooperation in Northern South America. The Amazon discharges 57 million gallons water/second. Its sediment plume gets deflected no rthward by the Southern E quatorial Current once it enters the Atlantic Ocean, and 100 miles out to se a. A small amount of the water flows southward, affecting coastal and oceanographic conditions as well. This ecoregion of Northern South America was
Sirenews No. 59 12 April 2013 the focus of a recent meeting organized by the Regiona l Activity Center for Specially Protected areas and Wildlife, the Green Heritage Fund Suriname a nd the French Agency for Marine Protected Areas with support by WWF Guianas. The Mama Coco S ea (Marine Mammal Conservation Corridor for northern South America) Project aims to explore po ssible options towards a regional cooperation effort for marine mammal conservation in areas under Amazonian influence. The workshop took place in Paramaribo, Suriname,18-20 March 2013, with the pa rticipation of over 30 professionals from 8 countries in the region (Aruba, Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela) and France. During the meeting, par ticipants identified data gaps on the distribution and abundance of marine mammals and determin ed potential data sources, partners, and research/monitoring programs to be developed in co llaboration. Among the at leas t 15 species shared by these countries for which much is still unknown manatees ( Trichechus manatus manatus and Trichechus inunguis ) and Guiana dolphins ( Sotalia guianensis ) were highlighted and tend to be the main and primary focus of cooperation in the near future. -Miriam Marmontel (Mamiraua Institute for Sustainable Development, Br azil; email@example.com) GUADELOUPE Proposed Reintroduction of the Antillean Manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) to Guadeloupe, French West Indies. BACKGROUND, GOALS AND APPROACH: With support from the French Department of Ecology, the National Park of Guadeloupe has taken careful steps to assess the feasibility of reintroducing manatees to the waters of the Gr and Cul-de-Sac-Marin (GCSM), a large protected bay of 15,000 hectares (ha). The species has been extinc t in the waters of Guadeloupe for over 100 years, having been wiped out locally by hunti ng, but manatees remain a part of local folklore and the history of Guadeloupe (e.g., the town of Lamen tin manatee in French, located near the GCSM). Nowadays the GCSM represents a well-managed area, which incl udes enforced no-entry zones (5,000 ha), and has relatively little boat traffic or othe r threats to manatees compared to many other locations in the wider Caribbean. Formal agreements with local fishing or ganizations and relationships with communities are attempting to secure local support of a re-introduction effort. An Expert Working Group is carefully guiding the process. In light of the extreme rar ity of marine mammal reintroductions globally, this program may provide an extremely useful model a nd good lessons to enhance species conservation. This project is part of a la rger initiative that seeks to: a) overcome and reverse loss of biodiversity in Guadeloupe; b) impr ove the global conservation status of the species and subspecies by restoring a population in Guadeloupe and potentially contribute in th e long term through a progressive re-colonization of the species in the Lesser Antilles ; and c) provide a transf erable model for other conservation projects. After years of individual and group in itiatives, a feasibil ity study (Lartiges et al. 2002) concluded that the reintroduction of manatees had merit, even if hurdles needed to be overcome to ensure success. The conclusion was echoed by the assessment of Mote Marine Laboratory (Re ynolds and Wetzel, 2008). Factors that will contribute to th e possible success of the project include: the large area of seagrass (5,500 ha) within a protected marine park; river mouths and access to freshwater; presence of little boat traffic and relatively few other ap parent threats; and general acceptance (and even some enthusiastic endorsement) of agency scientis ts and managers, politicians, a nd local citizens around the GCSM. Following the advice of an Expert Working Group who have helped shape this projects scientific framework and the conclu sions of a recent study of factors promoting success or failure of releases of young captive manatees for the propo sed reintroduction in Guadeloupe (OShea and Reynolds 2012), the National Park of Guadeloupe believe s that it is preferable to use manatees in
Sirenews No. 59 13 April 2013 captivity rather than animals captured directly from th e wild. Relative to wild manatees, captive animals should be more sedentary; their health status and genetic identity are already known; they are accustomed to being handled and involved in training (e.g., regarding feeding); and their involvement is more acceptable in conservation terms, as it does not have direct impacts on wild populations. In addition, since one of the projects goals is to create a transferable model that could enhance manatee conservation elsewhere, the use of captive manatees promotes easy adaptation of the project for other locations. A key condition to increase chances of success in the use of young captive animals is a relatively long period of acclimatization and adaptation to life in the wild. This holding time in a prerelease enclosure will be used to facilitate and accompany their reintegration into their natural habitat, with the help of the various stakeholders asso ciated with the projec t and use of the bay. Scientists and managers in a number of countries (including but not limited to the United States, Brazil, and Colombia) have acquire d considerable knowledge about th e rehabilitation and release of manatees held in captivity for shor t and long periods of time. These ope rations enjoy a high success rate. Other countries currently lack care centers or necessary financial m eans to enter into this type of operation. The animals targeted by the reintroducti on project in Guadeloupe would be preferentially taken from this pool of animals in captivity or animals needing a host center such as orphans. The manatee reintroduction project in Guadeloupe is a project in two phases with the first reintroductions planned for the year 2014: 1) A preparatory phase (2010-2014) which includes feasibility studies of the project, the necessary work to enhan ce the involvement of the local population and socio-professional stakeholders, and the establishment of partners hips with potential donor countries as well as control of the threats while specifying the characteristics of the area. Soft release enclosures and a care center will be developed to ensure the care of animals from the first release. The project is currently in this preparatory phase; 2) An implementation and monitoring phase (2014-2019) which involves the reintroduction of select ed manatees staggered over time To succeed in this operation, the National Park of Guadeloupe plans to introduce a founding core group of at least 15 indi viduals, with a majority being female. Today given the status of the project, both scientific and local, the goal is to reintroduce the first manatees in 2014. It will begin once everyone is assured that environmental and other possible threats to manatees have been id entified and are under control. The reintroduction will involve soft releases and VHF/satel lite monitoring of the animals. CURRENT STATUS OF THE PROJECT AND SYNTHETIC OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS MADE OVER THE LAST 2 YEARS The developments fall into several categories: Enhanced scientific guidance: 1) An expert working group was form ed to work with the staff of the National Park and with long-term project advisor, Dr. John Reynolds, in order to provide guidance and scientific expertise for the va rious aspects of the project, both at the local level and in terms of regional cooperation. The members of the group (c haired by Dr. Reynolds) in clude Dr. Thomas J. OShea (former leader of the US Department of the Interiors Sirenia Project), Dr. Benjamin Morales (current co-chair of the IUCN Si renia Specialist Group), Mr. Patrick Ro se (Executive Director, Save the Manatee Club), Dr. Alejandro Acosta (Member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Program Committee of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Ins titute and leader in community-based fisheries management), and Ms. Haydee Dominguez (PhD stude nt, Duke University, assessing status and conservation of manatees in Domini can Republic). 2) Since February 2013, Dr. Nataly Castelblanco has joined the team to strengthen the sc ientific support of the project. Cl osely associated with the Expert Working Group, Dr. Castelblanco will be responsible for, among other things, finalizing the diagnosis and choice of the soft-release sites in collaboration with soft release experts; defining the material and the specifications to in stall the facilities; modeling the impact of a growing mana tee population on
Sirenews No. 59 14 April 2013 seagrass dynamic; assessing the potential impact s on associated species; modeling scenarios of population growth over the medium and long term; de veloping protocols for cap ture and transportation of the animals; developing protocols for pre-rele ase, release and post-re lease phases; developing protocols for care operations and sanita ry control of the animals in collab oration with veterinary experts; contributing to the teams training ; and contributing to the implementa tion of the monitoring program of the manatee population in French Guyana. Enhanced stakeholder involvement: A number of meetings have been organized over the past two years to involve and inform the projects stakeholders, including but not limited to fishermen, boaters, tourism operators, environmental non-gover nmental organizations, and community leaders. Also, several public meetings were held with the resi dents of the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin to present the project, answer questions, and allo w individuals and groups to voice thei r feelings about the project and its possible ramifications. In addition to the info rmational meetings, the Na tional Park has organized workshops with users of the bay to work cooperativ ely to develop implementable solutions to address potential threats and manage potential usage conflicts Special attention has been paid to developing a dialog with local fishing groups. The PNG and the Fisheries Committ ee of Guadeloupe (CRPM) have jointly decided to conduct a study to assess the potential imp act of the presence of manatees on fishing activities and vice versa The findings of the study were returned to the fishermen in February 2013 and are reassuring about the real impact of the project on the activity. This effort lies within the framework of a wider cooperative agreement promulgated and formally initiated in February 2011 between the PNG and the CRPM. Furthermore, representatives of the fishing communities in Guadeloupe met with their counterparts in Puerto Rico in September 2011 to discuss the experience that the latter group has had involving interactions between manatees and fishing activities, and the possible effects on fishing. Awareness programs: Representatives of the PNG are invol ved in frequent presentations about the project to local school groups. These progr ams were accompanied in 2010-2011 by a competition throughout the school district of Guadeloupe on the th eme of the reintroducti on of the manatee. The children in the class with the winning entry were flow n to Florida to see manatees first-hand and to meet experts on manatees and manatee habitat to disc uss the project and its conservation implications. Establishment of formal relationships with c ountries that may provide manatees for the project: A strategy for international cooperation was develope d. Representatives of the PNG intend to present the project and the strategy docum ent to potential donor countries. Presently, the project has been formally presented only to the gove rnment of Colombia, but a similar presentation is expected to take place with governments of other Caribbean countries. Assessment of the feasibility of using manatees from French Guiana: Dr. Nataly Castelblanco was hired by the project to do prel iminary assessments of manatee di stribution and relative abundance in French Guiana. The possibility of using manatees fr om that territory (which would minimize diplomatic issues and certain issues associat ed with permitting) first requir ed that the rela tive abundance and availability of manatees be assessed. Dr. Cast elblanco submitted a report of her activities, with recommendations, in mid-May 2012 for consideration by the Park staff and th e expert working group. She will contribute this year to the monitoring progr am of the manatee population in French Guiana. Communicating the goals and approaches of the pr oject to a number of professional audiences: Formal presentations regarding the project were made at a number of professional conferences to (a) provide transparency, and (b) solic it suggestions for improvements. So me of these conferences were: Symposium on Caribbean Marine Protected Area, January 24-27, 2011 Guadeloupe; Second International Conference on Marine Mammal Prot ected Areas, November 7-11, 2011 Martinique, FWI; 19th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, November 27-December 2, 2011 Tampa, USA; Symposium Reint roductions, tools for conservati on, February 10-11, 2011 Lyon,
Sirenews No. 59 15 April 2013 France; Fifth Meeting of the Scientific and Tech nical Advisory Committee to the SPAW Protocol, 22 October 2012 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; 65t h Conference of the GCFI, November 5-9, 2012 Santa Marta, Colombia. Issuance of a contract to ri gorously assess literature and othe r information on reintroductions: The project team issued a contract to Dr. OSh ea and Dr. Reynolds to (a) review all available information (published and unpublished) on sirenian re leases into the wild, a nd (b) review relevant literature regarding releases and rein troductions of large mammals in gene ral. The goal of the contract was to establish the release criter ia (e.g., using wild vs. captive manatees; the optim al relative age at which released animals succeed best; the best use of so ft release facilities) that create the best possible chance for the manatee reintroduction project to su cceed. The contract report was due in July, 2012. Invitation of manatee rehabilitation experts (Dr. James Powell, Dr. Thomas OShea, Dr. John Reynolds) to assess habitat in the Grand Cul-de-S ac Marin and recommend specific criteria for the optimal soft release facility. On this occasion seve ral sites were identified around the bay as the most favorable to the installation of the facilities. That process took place wi th the Park staff in late August, 2012. Team training: Staff of the National Park and vets from Guadeloupe have been trained in manatee capture and health assessment techniques in Crystal River, Florida with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) team since January 2012. Moreover, the rangers involved in the project were trained in March 2013 in Indian River Lagoon, Florida by the USGS team to radio track manatees and monitor seagrass habitat. The traini ng plan of the teams will co ntinue in the coming months Boris Lerebours (Parc national de la Guadeloupe, boris.l firstname.lastname@example.org), Herv Magnin and John Reynolds 1) Aerial view of GCSM mangroves; 2) Manatee, photo by Patrick M. Rose
Sirenews No. 59 16 April 2013 Guadeloupe National Park Map Map of Grand Cul-de-Sac-Marin (GCSM).
Sirenews No. 59 17 April 2013 PERU Looking forward to Amazonian Manatee Conservation in Peru. The Amazonian manatee in Peru is critically endangered mainly due to illegal hunting, in spit e of being protected by national and regional laws. Intending to ensure the c onservation of the species, the I quitos Foundation Amazon Rescue Center (CREA) was created in 2009, consisting of na tional and international or ganizations such as The Dallas World Aquarium Zoo (DWAzoo), The Peruvian Amazon Research Institute (IIAP), The Loretos Regional Bureau of Production (DIREP RO Loreto) and The Association for the Amazonian Biodiversity Conservation Dallas World Aquari um Zoo (Acobia DWAzoo). Thanks to the joint efforts of these institutions it has been possible to rescue and su ccessfully rehabilitate 25 manatees to date. These actions have been complemented by intensive educa tional campaigns carried out in both the city and riverine communities, making it possibl e to reach 70,000 children thus far. An average day during educational campaigns carried out in riverine communities. During the rehabilitation stage, rescued manatees are kept in artifici al ponds of CREA which facilitates health assessments, diet studies and beha vior research. This has led to two undergraduate theses (Arvalo-Sandi, 2012 ; Zavala -Huaman, in process) and one master 's thesis (Velzquez-Varela, in process). Also, using data obtained from the manat ees held in the facilities of CREA, it has been possible to take part in scientif ic papers about management (Perea -Sicchar et al. 2011) and genetics (Satizbal et al. 2012). One of the main goals of CREA is to release th e rescued manatees into the wild. So far, eight rehabilitated manatees have been released, the first group in July 2011 (three females and two males) and the last in April 2012 (two females and one ma le). The manatees were released in the lagoon "El Dorado", within the Pacaya Samiria National Reserv e, and tracked by VHS telemetry. Technical support during the release was provided by Cristina Tffoli (Ins tituto de Pesquisas Ecol gicas) and Luis Sigler
Sirenews No. 59 18 April 2013 (DWAzoo). The tracking process involved the part icipation of Yacu Tayta members, the closest fishermen community, who perform sustainable management of resources in the lagoon. The first manatee release from CREA in 2011. Data collected after releasing the first mana tee group are being analyzed as part of an undergraduate thesis (Landeo-Yauri, in process). Preliminary results s uggest that with the exception of one male, manatees were able to adapt properly to the wild. Our field work with Amazonian manatees also includes visits to occurrence areas of the species and surveys in nearby riverine communities. Data from these activities are being used as part of an undergraduate thesis (Vlez-Ramirez in process) and a master's thesis (Perea-Sicchar, in process) This year, The Iquitos Foundation Amazon Rescue Center will continue to maintain actions towards the conservation of the Amazonian manatee in Peru. We are pleased to announce that in April 2013 four more manatees will be released into the wild. We wish to than k all the international researchers and manatee specialists that have given advice to strength en our research and conservation program: Antonio Mignucci-Giannoni, Fernando Trujillo, Cristina Toffoli, Luis Sigler, Rodrigo Lopez Pinho, Daryl Richardson and many others. We also wa nt to acknowledge the efforts of our group of students and volunteers that work hard for Amazonian manatee conservation in Peru. Landeo-Yauri S.1, Perea-Sicchar, C.M.1, Velsquez-Varela L.J.1, and Castelblanco-Martnez, N. 2 (1 Centro de Rescate Amaznico; 2 Oceanic Society; mail: email@example.com) References Arvalo -Sandi, A. 2012. Social Be havior of Amazonian Manatees ( Trichechus inunguis ) held in captivity in an artificial pond of the Am azon Rescue Center (CREA). BSc Thesis. Landeo-Yauri, S. (in prep.) Habitat use during dry season of the Amazonian Manatees ( Trichechus inunguis ) released into the basin of "El Dorado" lagoon RNPS. BSc Thesis.
Sirenews No. 59 19 April 2013 Vlez-Ramrez,C. (in prep.) Prelimin ary assessment of the ethno knowledge on Trichechus inunguis (Amazonian Manatee) in the basin of Pacaya Samiria, Loreto Region. BSc Thesis. PereaSicchar, C.M. (in prep.) Critical areas of conservation and threat for Trichechus inunguis (Natterer 1883) in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve" Master Thesis. Perea-Sicchar, C.M., Velsquez-Varela, L.J., Snchez-Babilonia, J., Espinoza-Hassan, M., Richardson, D., Sigler, L. 2012. Management and rehabilitation of captive Amazonian manatees ( Trichechus inunguis ) in Peru" Amazonian Science 1 (2): 15-24. Satizbal, P., Mignucci-Giannoni, A., Duchne, S., Caicedo-Herrera, D ., Perea-Sicchar, C., Garca-Dvila, C., Trujillo, F., Caballero, S. 2012 Phylogeography and Sex-Bi ased Dispersal across Riverine Manatee Populations ( Trichechus inunguis and Trichechus manatus ) in South America. PLoS ONE 7: (12) 10p. Velsquez-Varela, L.J. (in prep .) Influence of diet over the growth of Amazonian Manatees ( Trichechus inunguis ) during their rehabi litation in captivity. Master Thesis. Zavala -Huamn, L.R. (in prep.) Determination of hematological values and blood biochemistry of the Amazonian Manatees ( Trichechus inunguis ) kept in captivity in the Am azon Rescue Center of the Department of Loreto, Peru. BSc Thesis. PHILIPPINES Harnessing Local Knowledge for Dugong Conservation in the Philippines. PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES -Community Centred Conservation (C 3) Philippines is working hand-in-hand with fishers in Busuanga, Palawan in implementing a dugong monitoring and reporting system which aims to produce needed information to facilitate effective conservation action and increase local awareness on the conservation of the species. Listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the dugong is considered by many local experts to be al ready critically endanger ed in the Philippines. Fishing practices such as corral fi shing, combined with the degradat ion of seagrass beds have all contributed to the reduction of dugong populations in the country. With support from the Prince Bernhard Nature Fu nd, C3 is working with local fishers to harness their local knowledge and produce vital information that goes far in developing and implementing local conservation for dugongs in Busuanga. The Dugong-Fish er Monitoring Programme is a new effort for the people of Busuanga Municipality in that it speci fically recognizes the value of the role fishers can play in dugong conservation. "The y are the ones most out there," explains Leo Cayaban, Programme Coordinator for C3 Philippines and the key person in charge of the organization's activities in the country. "Fishers are very important because they spe nd most of their waking lives at sea. They are the ones most likely to find dugongs and report on them." Village fishers are made to report on any dugongs they might encounter while fishing. They return to shore and report sightings to local leaders where informati on such as time of sighting, location, animal size, individual numbers and the presence of calves are collected. The lo cal leaders then proceed to a huge village sighting map where sightings are marked for all community members to see. This provides the community with a strong sense of owners hip in the conservation e ffort. The data is then collected by C3 staff who visit th e villages on a monthly basis and th e information is used to help identify dugong "hotspots" in the muni cipality. Identifying thes e hotspots is critical because it can then enable the local government to focu s its attention on protec ting critical areas (and their related habitat) where dugongs can still be found. Local community support for the initiative is st rong with community members seeing the value of conserving dugongs for eco-tourism. Barangay Capt ain Gaudencio Jagmis, a local leader in New
Sirenews No. 59 20 April 2013 Quezon, Busuanga Municipality is in agreement on the need for dugong conservation. Over 30 members of his community were present to witness the setting-up of the dugong sighting map for New Quezon last 14 February 2013. "It is very important for people to work togeth er so that we are able to support our dugongs, especially here in Busuanga. Hopefully, the developm ent of our community will kick-off if we are able to do all these things," he said on the Dugong-Fisher Monitoring Programme. In the coming months C3 will be setting up more sighting maps in other co mmunities in Busuanga as the program expands to cover an even wider stretch of Busuanga's coasta l areas, involving even more fishing communities to play an active role in dugong conservation. C3 Philippines is a non-profit organization wo rking to develop conservation efforts in the Philippines by building the capacity of local individuals and institutions through grassroots research and training initiatives. To find out more please visit www.c-3.org.uk. -Leo Rex C. Cayaban (Programme Coordinator, C3 Philippines, Ba rangay Salvacion, Busuanga M unicipality Palawan Province, Philippines; firstname.lastname@example.org; (63) 0918-5534-702) Danica Lopez of C3 Philippines briefs community members on the method for marking dugong sightings on the community sighting map during the launch of the Dugong-Fisher Monitoring Programme in Barangay New Quezon, Busuanga Municipality held last 14 February 2013. VENEZUELA An improvised necropsy of a West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) from Isla de Toas, Lake Maracaibo basin, Venezuela. The West Indian manatee ( Trichechus manatus ) is a Vulnerable (VU) taxon according to the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. The species is also included under Appendix I of CITES, and categorized as Critically Endangered in th e most recent edition of the red book of the Venezuelan fauna (Ojasti and Lacabana 2008) In Venezuela this species has been recorded
Sirenews No. 59 21 April 2013 in four geographic areas: central coast, Gulf of Paria-Orinoco Delta Orinoco basin (Apure river and main tributaries) and on the lake Maracaibo basin (Correa-Viana, 1995). The manatee in Venezuela has been under legal protection since 1978, when manatee hunting was prohibited ( Resolutions 127 MARNR 1978 ; 1485, 1486 de la Presidencia de la Repblica 1996). However, although hunting is prohibited for many species in Venezuela, it has often been repl aced by road killing, which affects the terrestrial wildlife, and by encounters with motorboats impac ting aquatic wildlife, such as manatees. Many of these magnificent animals die every y ear due to collisions with medium or large sized motorized boats transiting through their habitat. In the Maracaibo Lake, observations and locations of living or dead manatees (adults, juveniles and calves) have been regular si nce the 1990s. On 14 December 2012, one of the authors (TB) received a call from a local resident of Isla de Toas reporting an adult female West Indian manatee (2.6 m total length) found dead in the vicinity of Monte Alto beach, Isla de Toas, Estado Zulia, Venezuela. We immediately visited the location and performed an improvised postmortem examination on the rocky beach with the help of locals of Isla de Toas. We concluded that the death was the result of a severe trauma in the lumbar zone, which broke the last f our ribs causing the rupture of blood vessels followed by a profuse internal hemorrhage that is evidenced by the presence of de nse clots in the retroperitoneal dorsal area. The digestive tract was full, and a sa mple of gut content was collected. We also found numerous nematodes, which were preserved in etha nol for future identifica tion. Around six hours were needed to complete the necropsy and sample collection from the specimen, until the carcass was flensed and transferred to a beach located in San Bernardo bank (Isla San Carlos, Zulia). Initial cleaning of the skeleton was completed with the help of lo cals for scientific and exhibition purposes. Possibly the first graphic documen tation of a manatee killed in th e Isla de Toas is a picture (converted in a postcard) taken at least one cent ury ago. The manatee postcard was found by Angel L. Viloria, a Venezuelan entomologist, who bought it in London in 1997. The postcard illustrates a dead manatee with some people, mainly children, behind it. The back of the postcard mentions Isla de Toas, with a trivial comment about the ch ildrens bellies, maybe in refere nce to their parasitosis. This interesting old record is also published in the second volume of El Glorioso Ayer (the Glorious Yesterday) by Julio Castillo ( 1920-1940). Viloria and another nati ve from Isla de Toas, the paleontologist Ascanio Rincn, interviewed the oldest people from Toas, who do not recognize any of the people present on the postcard. This led Viloria a nd Rincn to conclude that the picture may have been taken at the end of the 1800s early 1900s. In conclusion, we would suggest that there is a need for moto rboat traffic regulation in this region of Venezuela to avoid impact with manatees. Acknowledgements.We are grateful to Angel L. Viloria for sharing her knowledge of the postcard showing a manatee from Isla de Toas and Phillipe Kok who for his suggestion to a preliminary version of this note. Tito R. Barros1, Luis Sibira and Gilson A. Rivas (Museo de Biologa, Facultad Experimental de Ciencias, Universidad del Zulia, apartado postal 526, Maracaibo 4011, Estado Zulia; email1: email@example.com). References Ojasti, J. and P. Lacabana. 2008. Manat, Trichechus manatus Pp. 72. En: J. P. Rodrguez y F. Rojas-Surez (eds.). Libro Rojo de la Fauna de Venezolana. Tercera edicin. Provita y Shell Venezuela, S.A., Caracas, Venezuela. Correa-Viana, M. 1995. El manat. Revisin de su Distribucin y Abundancia actual. Delfines y otros mamferos de Venezuela. Una poltica pa ra su conservacin FUDECI-PROFAUNA. Caracas. 139p.
Sirenews No. 59 22 April 2013 Head detail of the manatee found in front of Isla de Toas (a); Map of Isla de Toas, with its relative location in northwestern Venezuela (b); Same specimen in (a) prior to necropsy (c); During the process of the necropsy (d); Old picture of a manatee killed on Isla de Toas (e); General view of Isla de Toas (f). RECENT LITERATURE Appeltans, W., and 120 other authors including D.P. Domning and C. Self-Sullivan. 2012. The magnitude of global marine species di versity. Current Biology 22(23): 2189-2202. http://dx.doi.or g/10.1016/j.cub.2012.09.036 Bauduin, S., J. Martin, H.H. Edwards, O. Gimenez, S.M. Koslovsky, and D.E. Fagan. 2013. An index of risk of co-occurrence between marine mammals a nd watercraft: Example of the Florida manatee. Biological Conservation 159:127-136. Blair, D., A. McMahon, B. McDonal d, D. Tikel, M. Waycott, and H. Marsh. 2013. Pleistocene sea level fluctuations and the phylogeography of the dugong in Au stralian waters. Marine Mammal Science. DOI: 10.1111/mms.12022. Borges, J.C., A.C. Freire, F.L. Attademo, I. Serra no, D.G. Anzolin, P.S. de Carvalho, and J.E. VergaraParente. 2012. Growth pattern differen ces of captive born Antillean manatee ( Trichechus manatus ) calves and those rescued in the Brazilian northeaster n coast. Journal of Z oo and Wildlife Medicine 43(3):494-500. Bossart, G.D., A.A. Mignucci-Giannoni, A.L. Rivera -Guzman, N.M. Jimenez-Marrero, A. Camus, R.K. Bonde, J.P. Dubey and J.S. Reif. 2012. Disse minated toxoplasmosis in Antillean manatees ( Trichechus
Sirenews No. 59 23 April 2013 manatus manatus ) from Puerto Rico. Diseases of Aqua tic Organisms 101:139-144. Available online via Open Access: http://www.int -res.com/abstracts/dao/v101/n2/p139-144/ Castelblanco-Martnez, D. N., J. Padilla-Sldivar, H. A. Hernndez-Arana, D. Slone, J. Reid, and B. Morales-Vela. 2012. Movement patterns of Antillean manatees in Chetumal Bay (Mexico) and coastal Belize: A challenge for regional conservation. Marine Mammal Science 29(2). DOI: 10.1111/j.17487692.2012.00602.x Eigeland, K.A., J. M. Lanyon, D.J. Trott, D. Ouwerk erk, W. Blanshard, G.J. Milinovich, L.M. Gulino, E. Martinez, S. Merson, and A.V. Klieve. 2012. Bact erial Community Structure in the Hindgut of Wild and Captive Dugongs ( Dugong dugon ). Aquatic Mammals 38(4): 402-411 http://dx.doi.org/10.1578/AM.38.4.2012.412 Hall, N.H., M. Walsh, C. DeLuca, and A. Bukoski. 2012. Hysteroscopy and ep isiotomy in a rescued, cold-stressed Florida manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris ) from diagnosis and treatment of a retained fetal skeleton. Journal of Z oo and Wildlife Medicine 43(3):670-673. Hoson, O., K. Shin-Ichiro, and O. Sen-Ichi. 2012. Ossification patterns of basicranial sutures in manatees, genus Trichechus. Mammal Study 37(3):213-225. Hunter, M. E., A. A. Mignucci-Giannoni, K. P. Tucker T. L. King, R. K. Bonde, B. A. Gray, and P. M. McGuire. 2012. Puerto Rico and Florida manatees represent genetically distin ct groups. Conservation Genetics 13:1623 1635. Laist, D.W., C. Taylor, and J. E. Reynolds, III. 2 013. Winter habitat preferences for Florida manatees and vulnerability to cold. PLoS ONE 8(3): e58978. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058978 Sulzner, K., C.K. Johnson, R.K. Bonde, N.A. Gomez, J. Powell, K. Nielsen, M.P. Luttrell, A.D.M.E. Osterhaus and A. A. Aguirre. 2012. Health asse ssment and seroepidemiol ogic survey of potential pathogens in wild Antillean ma natees (Trichechus manatus manatus). PLOS ONE 7(9) e44517. 11pp. Tucker, K.P., M.K. Hunter, R.K. Bonde, A. Clar k, C.A. Beck, M.K. Oli and P.M. McGuire. 2012. Genetic diversity and population st ructure of Florida manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris ). Journal of Mammalogy 93(6):1504-1511.
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