Material Information

Sirenews newsletter of the IUCNSSC Sirenia Specialist Group
Portion of title:
Siren news
Physical Description:
v. : ; 29 cm.
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources -- Sirenia Specialist Group
IUCN/SSC Sirenia Specialist Group
Place of Publication:
Washington D.C
Washington, D.C
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Sirenia -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Marine mammals -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )


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).

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 35841617
lccn - 2009208704
issn - 1017-3439
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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 tions/sirenews/ and April 2007 IN THIS ISSUE 6th INTL SIRENIAN SYMPOSIUM – DEADLINES OCTOBER 31 (pg. 5) STATUS OF AFRICAN MANAT EE IN CAMEROON (pg. 14) UPDATES FROM SIRENIA SP ECIALIST GROUP REGIONS Pacific Ocean Regional Subgroup (Australia and Pacific Islands) In response to invitations to join the Pacifi c Ocean Regional Group of the IUCN SSC Sirenia Specialist Group sent out in early 2013, there are now 16 members. The draft objectives of the Pacific Ocean Regional group to be considered by the members are: To update the status of dugongs in the Pacific Ocean Region (Australia, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu) To communicate, collaborate and coordinate amongst dugong research ers and stakeholders in the region To provide advice on dugong research and conservation To provide annual reports to SSG co -chairs and articles to Sirenews. The draft objectives of the Pacific Ocean mirro r those of the Indian Ocean Regional Group in order to provide synergies between the two regions. An opportunity for furthe r discussions to explore synergies could be at the Internat ional Sirenian Symposium to be held on 7 December 2013 in Dunedin, New Zealand. The option to develop work plans for each SSG region, which include the following items, could be explored: Research on dugongs and their habitats; Identification of information gaps; Sire news Newsletter of the IUCN Sirenia Specialist Group October 2013 Funded by th e U.S. Marine Mammal Commission Number 60


Sirenews No. 60 2 October 2013 Identification and reduction of thre ats to dugongs and th eir habitats; Legal protection of dugongs and their habitats; National, regional and inte rnational co-operation; Capacity building at all levels. Pacific Region Membership List Name Country Amanda Hodgson Australia Donna Kwan UAE Ivan Lawler Australia Helene Marsh Australia Bob Prince Australia Alana Grech Australia Elizabeth Burgess Australia Susan Sobtzick Australia Rie Hagihara Australia Len McKenzie Australia Christophe Cleguer Australia Rob Coles Australia Clair Garrigue New Caledonia Francis Hickey Vanuatu Wendy Blanshard Australia Jillian Grayson UAE -Amanda Hodgson ( and Donna Kwan (, Regional Cochairs, Pacific Ocean Region Indian Ocean Regional Subgroup (East Africa, Arabian Region and Asia) Under the guidance of IUCN-SSC Sirenia Specia list Group co-chairs, Drs. Helene Marsh and Benjamin Morales, the regional co-chairs initiate d the membership drive by inviting 34 sirenian researchers from the East Africa, Arabian Region and Asia. This include d the list of researchers from the region who responded to the April 2012 Sirenews articl e on this subject. As of today, the regional group consists of 21 members from 15 rang e states. The main objective of this membership drive is to get representation from all range states of sirenian/dugong occurrence. Re gional chairs will continue to work towards recruiting more me mbers especially from countr ies that are underrepresented. As per the mandate, the objectives of the Indi an Ocean Regional Group ar e being developed. The draft objectives being discu ssed within the group are: To update status of dugongs in the Indian Ocean Region (East Africa, Asia and Arabian Region) To communicate, collaborate and cooperate amo ngst the dugong researchers and stakeholders of the region To advise on issues of dugong research and conservation To provide annual reports to SSG co -chairs and articles to Sirenews Himansu Sekhar Das (hsdas@aed.ed) and Tint Tun (, SSG Regional Co-Chairs, Indian Ocean Region


Sirenews No. 60 3 October 2013 African Manatee Regional Subgroup Dr. Edem Eniang and Lucy Keith Diagne have been appointed as Vice-Chairs of the SSG African Regional Group. Our objectives are: 1. To further determine the status of the African Manatee; 2. To be an expert resource panel fo r the IUCN and other stakeholders; 3. To lead and advise others in the growing field of manatee research and management in Africa; 4. To promote and facilitate communicati on and collaboration am ong African manatee researchers. For communication we are currently using the Yahoo discussion group “T richechussenegalensis”, which was created in 2009 for African manatee rese archers to share news and information. Africa Region Membership List 2013 Name Qual. Role Country Affiliation Position Email Lucy Keith Diagne PhD candidate Regional Co-chair USA and Senegal Sea to Shore Alliance Research Scientist Edem Eniang PhD Regional Co-chair Nigeria University of U yo Professor eniang Patrick OforiDansen PhD Member Ghana University of Ghana Professor Aristide Kamla Masters Member Cameroon African Marine Mammal Conservation Association Res earcher Dawda Saine BSc Member The Gambia National Association of Artisanal Fisheries Operators Director Miguel Xavier Masters student Member Angola Ministry of the Environment Technician James Powell PhD Member USA Sea to Shore A lliance Director Tim Dodman Masters Member United Kingdom Wetlands International Associate Expert NEWS FROM THE SECRETARIAT TO THE UNEP/CMS DUGONG MOU The Dugong, Seagrass and Coastal Communi ties Initiative (DSCC Initiative) The Dugong MoU Secretariat has developed the DSCC Initiative to advance projects for global conserva tion and management of dugong populations and their seagrass habitats, including the following: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project The GEF Project entitled “Enhancing the conservation effectiveness of seagrass ecosystems supporting globally significant populations of Dugong across the Indian and Pacific Oceans Basins” (Short Title: “The Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project”) is nearing the end of development a nd now includes 32 Project Partners implementing 40 projects across


Sirenews No. 60 4 October 2013 eight Project Countries: Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu. Approximately US $6 million of project funding is being provid ed by these Project Countries from their GEF-5 Biodiversity STAR funds. Additi onally, over US $98 million in co-finance is being contributed to global dugong and seagrass conserva tion by Supporting Partners, including Australia, Kenya, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Seyche lles, Tanzania and the United Arab Emirates. This Project is expected to have global conservation benefits through its unprecedented investment in dugong and seagrass conservation, know ledge sharing via a Clearing House Mechanism, and its pioneering use of various novel approaches to dugong and s eagrass conservation. Successful approaches will be extended to other dugong range stat es through several pilot projects planned under the Dugong, Seagrass and Coastal Communities Initiative The GEF Project is expected to start in 2014. Phylogeography and Genetic Diversity of Dugongs across Range States (Short title: “Dugong Genetics Project”) The Dugong Genetics Project is in the final st ages of completing the sequencing of dugong DNA samples and carrying out final data analysis The project utilized a regional network of individuals/agencies that collected dugong sample s for subsequent genetic studies and increased understanding of the value of genetic data for du gong conservation management among relevant rangestate agencies. Fundraising for the DSCC Initiati ve Projects: Pilot Projects Following site visits and discus sions with potential project pa rtners, the Dugong MoU Secretariat is developing plans for pilot projects in India and Thailand under the DSCC Initiative. The largest remaining dugong populations in India are found in the waters of Tamil Nadu. The Dugong MoU Secretariat is assisting in developing a p ilot project in the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay regions of Tamil Nadu, which will include incentives to reduce pressures from fisheries and support sustainable fisheries management. Trang province is home to the largest dugong populat ion in Thailand and the animals hold a high iconic status in the region, but bycat ch in gill nets and destruction of seagrass habitats are leading to concerns of an unsustainable mortality rate. A pilot pr oject is being developed to trial incentive tools to counter the use of destructive fishing practices, provide support and advice on how to enhance monitoring, raise awareness of threats to dugongs and promote local eco-tourism. The Dugong MoU Secretariat is also working to help develop pilot projects in several additional dugong range states, including Myanmar, Pa pua New Guinea and the Philippines. Gulf Dugong Action Programme The Gulf Dugong Action Programme is comprised of two components: 1) “Gulf Collaboration for Dugongs and Seagrasses” which aims to obtain information to update the conservation status of dugongs and th eir habitat in the Gulf and incl udes an Aerial Surveys Project, Dugong Stranding Project and Seagrass Assessment Project. 2) “Addressing Bycatch of Marine Mammals, Sharks and Turtles in the Gulf”, which aims to measure the number of deaths of endangered marine mammals, sharks and turtles due to capture by non-targeted fishing (i.e. bycatch), review ex isting initiatives and propose solutio ns to reduce this phenomenon. The Dugong MoU Secretariat is currently seeking funding for these projects. For additional news on activities of the Dugong MOU Secretariat, follow our noticeboard at /dugong/dugong_noticeboard.htm.


Sirenews No. 60 5 October 2013 SIXTH INTERNATIO NAL SIRENIAN SYMPOSIUM 2013 October 31, 2013 October 31, 2013 UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA OFFE RS DISTANCE LEARNING COURSES ON MANATEES AND OT HER AQUATIC ANIMAL TOPICS The University of Florida, College of Veterina ry Medicine’s Aquatic Animal Health Program offers exciting online courses in aquatics including one titled Manatee Health and Conservation The course provides a detailed overview of manatee natural history, health assessment techniques, and research findings as well as exploring conser vation issues. Emphasis is on the Florida manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris ) but other Sirenia species are also included. Lecturer s include leading researchers in manatee biology as well as those on the forefront of conservation work. These experts include, but are not limited to, Drs. B ob Bonde and Roger Reep (authors of The Florida Manatee: Biology and Conservation ) Dr. John Reynolds (former Chairman of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission), Mr. Pat Rose (Executi ve Director of Save the Manate e Club), and Dr. Martine de Wit (veterinarian who oversees the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comm ission’s Marine Mammal Pathobiology Laboratory). The courses are available in slightly different formats to accommodate undergraduate, graduate, and veterinary students as well as co ntinuing education (CE) for veterina rians, aquarists, biologists, or post-baccalaureates interested in graduate school. Part icipating undergraduate and graduate students have a variety of majors including Animal Scien ce, Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences, Marine Biology, Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, and Zoology. Many of the undergraduate students are on a preveterinary medicine track. Ot her courses offered include: Aquatic Wildlife Health Issues (Summer semester, annually): a 3 credit course which introduces students and professionals to the natural hi story, anatomy, physiol ogy, behavior and common health issues of aquatic species: whales and dol phins, seals and sea lions, manatees, sea turtles and crocodilians.


Sirenews No. 60 6 October 2013 Aquatic Animal Conservation Issues (Fall semester, annually): a 3 credit course that will expose students and professionals to some of the contro versial issues surrounding aquatic animal species ranging from invertebrates to marine mammals, with emphasis on marine mammals, but also including sea turtles, fisherie s, and marine ecosystems. All of these courses are asynchronou s in nature and can work with most schedules as there are no set lecture times. Students that have taken this course in the past have logged on to learn from all over the world. There have been students successfully ta king our courses on five di fferent continents from Asia (Dubai), Europe (Ireland and Luxembourg), No rth America (U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico) South America (Brazil) and Australia. Re view of the lectures as well as completing the assigned readings, quizzes, homework, and other assignments can all be done asynchronously; however, there are also opportunities for live web discussions w ith the experts from the course. To learn more about the courses please visit: http://a or contact the Aquatic Animal Health Program Assi stant at –Jeffrey Hendel OCEAN GENOME LEGACY SEEKS SAMPLES FOR MARINE MAMMAL GENOME ARCHIVE A variety of marine mammal tissue collections exist worldwide, however significant obstacles limit widespread scientific use of the materials incl uding strict national and in ternational regulations on the collection, use, transfer, and holding of marine mammal parts and DNA; inconsistencies in the quality, condition, and storage of specimens; and limitations of each prog ram’s mission-specific funding. The non-profit institution O cean Genome Legacy (OGL) is asking for your help in solving these problems. To improve research access to materials fr om marine mammals suitable for molecular biology and genomic research, OGL created the Marine Mammal Genome Archive (MMGA). MMGA samples are obtained from existing collectio ns, strandings, ongoing research pr ojects, and byproducts of routine veterinary care. OGL utilizes the latest methods of gene and genome amplification to legally facilitate broad access to MMGA materials by providing researcher s with accurate synthetic replicas of individual genes or complete genomes that contain no detectable material from the original specimen. They are suitable for most types of molecula r research, but are not subject to existing national and international regulations and so may be distribu ted and used for research without need for special permits. With respect to research use, these rep licas are the legal equivalent of photos, sound recordings or digitized data. They are also more stable and resistant to decay, less expensive to store and maintain, and extend the usable quantity of mate rials by orders of magnitude. How can you become a part of this important effort? OGL relies on external scientists, aquarium staff, academic and government researchers, stranding responders, and aquatic veterinarians to provide the majority of its holding s. We are asking you to join us as collaborators in building this important community resource by cont ributing samples from your own wo rk with marine organisms. Sirenia species are not yet represented in this public scientific resource please help remedy this! Contributing samples is easy and OGL provides all collection materials. For mammals, simply place small (quarter-sized) pieces of muscle skin, brain, heart, or kidney tissue or a small volume of blood in the provided pre-labeled tubes or Whirl-Pak bags and add the provi ded nonflammable, nontoxic fixative. Preserved samples may be stored a nd shipped at room temperature.


Sirenews No. 60 7 October 2013 How will my samples be used? All genomic materials and data in the MMGA are available for use by the broader scientific community under appropr iate permits and in compliance with all existing laws, rules and regulations under ma terial transfer agreements th at authorize only non-commercial research. Current holdings are accessible online ( talog). OGL has loaned ~2,000 DNA samples to date. As a member of the International Society of Biological and Environmental Repositories and the Global Genomic Biodiversit y Network, OGL works to ensure th at current best practices are maintained in collection, archival storage, and di ssemination of biomaterials and associated data. Because we are a publicly funded nonprofit orga nization, OGL does not authorize, license, or obtain revenue from commercial us e of materials in its collections There is no charge for use of archived materials, although in most cases fees are required to recover part of the costs of processing, storing, and distributing samples. OGL’s mission is to facilitate research that can help improve scientific understanding a nd that can contribute to the successful protection and management of marine species and environments. By provi ding open-access to materials and data, ensuring proper handling and long-term storage of materials for genetic and ge nomic analyses, and creati ng off-site redundancy to improve the physical security of invaluable coll ections, OGL hopes to help preserve irreplaceable biodiversity that is rapidly disa ppearing from the wild oceans. We hope you will support the development of th is scientific resource by depositing samples into this special collection! Request a sampling k it by email ( or online form ( For questions or mo re information on this project, please contact OGL’s Biorepository Manager at –Timery Deboer Ocean Genome Legacy facilities


Sirenews No. 60 8 October 2013 A PROPOSAL ON A WORLD MA NATEE DAY/MONTH: MANATEE EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGN S AROUND THE WORLD Although educational campaigns for manatee conser vation are widely performed in most of the countries where manatees occur, devoting a particul ar day of the year to manatees on a global scale could bring massive and important attention to the species. The purpos e of a World Manatee Day is to raise awareness about, and increa se knowledge of manatees. Global campaigns serve to encourage people to actively participate in many different ways in manatee co nservation. Those activities involve local people, fishermen communities and children living close to manatee habitats, but can also be extended to people in a completely different context of life. In Mexico, manatee day has been o fficially celebrated on September 7th by the consultative and technical subcommittee for the recuperation, c onservation and management of the manatee Trichechus manatus manatus in Mexico, since 2001. The idea has its origins in the Cat azaja municipality (Chiapas State), where manatees have been traditionally celebrated on that date since 1999. On July 1st 2013, an invitation was extended to manat ee specialists, educators and instit utions around the world via social networks and emails, to determine their interest in joining the manatee celebrations on that day. We were excited to see that various people answered w ith enthusiasm. Puerto Rico was already on the way to having an official manatee day, also on September 7th. However, due to the difficulty of having a unique manatee day that would fit ev ery country that desires to celeb rate, we suggested September as manatee month for the future. As a result of this invitation, the National Ma natee Working Group of Belize decided to reschedule educational activit ies and declared September as manatee month. Fundacin Macuticos Colombia join ed the party in the social netw orks and Natutama (Colombian Amazon) devoted some days to celebrating Amazonian manatees. This year the manatee day or week was celebrated with many even ts in at least four countries: Mexico, Puerto Rico, Belize and Colo mbia. In Mexico, events took pla ce in various states with talks about manatee biology and conservati on but also with educational activ ities for kids. More information can be obtained from Blanca Cortina and Paloma Ladron. In Puerto Rico, several agencies participated and they were expecting 37 schools to have activi ties on manatee conservation, which would represent about 10,000 children. Also in Puer to Rico, the Senate and the Hous e of Representatives approved the September 7th law and the manatee as national mammal, alth ough the signature from the governor is still missing. More information can be obtained from Antonio Mignucci. In Beliz e, they celebrated on numerous days with an essay and po ster competition for schools and al so with six days during the month of a travelling display. In Colombia, the Fundati on Macuticos promoted manatee day in social networks and Natutama organized events in the Amazon and broadcasted a radio program “Ondas del Amazonas” talking about manatees, their thre ats and what to do if people find a calf. This year the invitation was sent with very short notice for most of the countries to organize events. Based on the success this ye ar and the interest shown by severa l countries to participate in the future, we would like to renew the invitation, well in advance, to ev erybody working on manatees to join us next year in the celebration of manatee month, and in particular manatee day. Hopefully next year more countries would have time to organize their participation and maybe to interact with each other on some of the activities (b y internet) or some competition/cont est (picture, draw ing, essay, poster…) among countries. We wish to thank our colleagues in other parts of the world for their prompt response, and the information provided by the organizers of activi ties this year. We encourage individuals and organizations to let us know your suggestions about manatee celebrations in 2014. We also would like to invite the dugong community to jo in us in the celebrations. Coralie Nourisson1, 2 and Nataly


Sirenews No. 60 9 October 2013 Castelblanco-Martnez3 (1Geomare AC, Av. Miguel Alemn 616-4B, Col. Lzaro Crdenas, C. P. 82040. Mazatln, Sinaloa, Mxico; 2 CIBIO Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, University of Porto. Rua Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661 Vairo, Portugal; 3 Oceanic Society, Blackbird Field Station, Turneffe, Belize;, c ANNOUNCING THE FIRST-EVER CITIZEN SCIENCE TOOL FOR SEAHORSE CONSERVATION In October, Project Seahorse launched iSeahorse (www.iseahorse .org), the first-ever citizen science website and smartphone app for seahorses. Created in collaboration w ith the Zoological Society of London and John G. Shedd Aquarium, iSeahorse.or g allows anyone, anywhe re in the world to contribute to seahorse science a nd conservation with just a few c licks of a mouse or taps on a smartphone. Seahorses are difficult to study in the wild because of their ability to ble nd, chameleon-like, into their surroundings, and thei r near-global geographical range. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists 11 seahorse species as Vulnerable, but 26 other seahorse species are considered Data Deficient. This means that we do not yet know enough about them to assess their conservation status. iSeahorse tackles this problem head-on. Powere d by iNaturalist, one of the world’s leading citizen science engines, iSeahorse expands the number of people observi ng seahorses in the wild from a handful of scientists to hundreds and potentially thousands of citi zen scientists. Anyone can join iSeahorse. Whether you’re a diver, a fisher, a scientis t, a seahorse enthusiast, or just on a beach holiday, you can upload your photos and observations to iSeahor se, help identify seahorse species, and advocate for their protection in your ocean neighbourhood. Project Seahorse scientis ts and global in-country experts will use this vital information to better understand seahorse behavior, species ranges, and th e threats seahorses face. They will use this knowledge to improve seahorse conservation measures across the globe. What’s more, the iSeahorse website and smartphone platform is designed to be readily adapted for other taxa, making it easier for other specialist groups to launch si milar citizen science ventures. For more information, contact Project S eahorse at Project Seahorse thanks Guylian Belgian Chocolate, Whitley Fund fo r Nature, and Harmsworth Trust for their generous support of iSeahorse LOCAL NEWS AUSTRALIA Satellite tracking of Moreton Bay dugong confirms travel to and from Hervey Bay in Queensland Australia. Two large bays support signifi cant populations of dugongs in southeast Queensland. These bays are separated by more than 100 kilometers of open surf coast, known as the Sunshine Coast; a very different habitat from the seagrass areas in the bays. Dugongs are occasionally caught in the shark protection nets on the Sunshine Coas t leading to speculation that this region acts as a movement corridor between Moreton and Hervey Bays.


Sirenews No. 60 10 October 2013 Despite 25 years of satellite tr acking, dugong movement corridors have proved very difficult to detect. When a dugong undertakes a large-scale movement it typically moves relatively fast submerging the tethered transmitter and making signals unavailable to the receiving satellite. This year, a large female was tracked moving fr om Moreton Bay to Hervey Bay and back to Moreton Bay using ARGOS/GPS technology. The animal hugged the coast close to the Sunshine Coast shark nets and traversed the strait between the coast and Fraser Island (see map). The dugong took 4 days to make the 214km northern journey, stayed in Herv ey Bay for 22 days and took 3 days to return to Moreton Bay via the same route. The ARGOS/GPS tran smitter then came off but we have continued to receive acoustic evidence that that dugong was in Moreton Bay as the acoustic transmitter in the tailstock belt was not lost and its signals have been picked up by an ac oustic array in the vicinity of the original capture site in eastern Moreton Bay. A second dugong tagged the same week in Moreton Bay, a smaller male, also journeyed to Hervey Bay where it has remained in the same lo calized area for 12 week s. Although the GPS/ARGOS data did not provide clear eviden ce of the migratory pathway, the results suggest th at the animal travelled much further offshore, further evidence of the individualistic nature of dugong movements. Daniel R. Zeh and Helene Marsh (James Cook University), and Col Limpus (EHP Queensland) Satellite Track of female manatee alo ng Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia Differences and similarities in the spatial ecology of dugongs and green sea turtles along Queensland, Australia: Implications for co-management. Dugongs ( Dugong dugon ) and green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas ) are often found together in regions wher e they co-occur and have similar diet preferences within associated seagrass communities. These factors are assumed to cause an overlap in habitat use and provide a basis for co-management. Th is assumed spatial overlap has led to the use of spatial closures to be routinely suggested as a method to protect critical areas for dugongs and green turtles to promote species recovery.


Sirenews No. 60 11 October 2013 However, to date the co-management of these sympatric species has been based predominantly on subjective assumptions of inter-sp ecies relationships with the notion that existing protection areas for one species will, by default, encompass the other. Yet, very little study has been done to objectively identify the true relationships between dugong and gr een turtle spatial ecology within regions where they coexist. Furthermore, the majority of existing protection areas in Austra lia were developed using aerial surveys and sighting record data; a major limitati on of these methodologies is that they do not take into account movements of indivi dual animals, which leads to errors of commission and omission in delineating protection zone boundaries. The aim of our study was to provid e an evidence-based method to inform the biological basis for co-management of these two sympatric species. This methodology can then be used to enhance systematic conservation planning by objectively delin eating areas for protecti on of these species and other sympatric or inter-related species. We also determined the interand intra-species spatial relationships of dugongs and green turtles within and be tween distinct geog raphic locations and evaluated the efficacy of existing pr otection areas around northeast Australia. Fast acquisition GPS transmitters were used to tr ack eleven dugongs and ten green turtles at two geographically distinct fo raging locations in Queensland, Australia (Shoalwater Bay and Torres Strait) in 2009, 2010, and 2012. Both of these regions contain habitat previously id entified as of high conservation value for both species: Torres Stra it supports the world’s largest dugong population and foraging grounds for the world’s larg est green turtle population; Shoalwat er Bay is home to the largest population of dugongs along the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and also provides sign ificant foraging habitat for the southern GBR stock of green turtles. Spatial cl osures also exist in both of these regions for the protection of dugongs and/or green tu rtles: the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Dugong Protection Areas along the GBR and a Dugong Sanctuary in Torres Strait. To determine species spatial relationships, home -range analysis and bathymetric modeling were used to define home-range size and depth zone pref erence, which were compared to existing protection areas. Results indicated that overa ll (95% range) dugong and gr een turtle foraging ranges significantly overlapped in both locations. However, both species used different core areas ( 50% range) in relation to one another. Green turtles favored intertidal (Shoalwater Bay) and reef (Torres Strait) areas while dugongs preferred sub-tidal areas away from reefs (bot h locations). Significant differences also existed between regions in home-range size and depth zone use for dugongs, with individual dugongs using significantly larger ranges and deeper depths in Torres Strait (Torres Strait overall: 263 – 1269 km2 core: 54 – 223 km2, 5-15 m depth zones; Shoalwater Bay: 16 – 73 km2 core: 3 – 21 km2, 0-5 m depth zones). Almost all green turtles us ed similarly sized overall and core foraging ranges in both locations (overall: 1.4 – 19 km2; core: 0.1 – 3.6 km2) but differed in their depth zone preference with turtles found almost exclusively at depths <5 m in Shoalwater Bay while turtles in Torres Strait were found over depths between 5 and 10 m around 40% of the time. Interestingly, two turtles, one in each geographic location, displayed movement patterns similar to dugongs in each location. Individual analysis indicate d dugongs were very individualis tic and unpredictable in both regions, with animals moving in all directions and some animals using much larger ranges. In contrast, turtles showed strong site fidelity in both regions w ith each individual having its own distinct core areas with very little overlap between individuals. Additiona lly, both species used existing protection areas in Shoalwater Bay, but only a single tracked dugong used existing prot ection areas in Torres Strait. In conclusion, coexisting dugongs and green se a turtles use similar habitats, making comanagement possible, but differences exist between geographic locations and core areas which needs to be taken into account when developing protection zones. Additionally, current protection measures appear to be adequate in some ar eas of Australia while not in others We have also shown that evidence-


Sirenews No. 60 12 October 2013 based methods using fast-acquisition satellite telemetry can be used to delineate relationships between these and other inter-related species, increasing the efficacy of systematic conservation planning. Moreover, quantifying the spatial ov erlap, range size and depth zone distribution of dugongs and green turtles in Australia may be applicab le to other regions where these spec ies co-occur. It is suggested that similar studies be conducted through out these species’ range to better inform management and improve the conservation potential of management decisions. The complete manuscript of this work is currently being prepared for publication. Christian Gredzens (, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Australia) BELIZE Preliminary information from first tagged manatees in Turneffe Atoll (Belize) reveal regular travel patterns to the mainland. Turneffe Atoll (TA) is located in Belize, approximately 35 km from the mainland, and is the only atoll in th e world where Antillean manatees ( Trichechus manatus manatus ) have been reported. TA provides several excellent characteristics for manatee habitat, encompassing shallow and sheltered lagoons, abunda nt seagrass beds and mangrove isla nds, and relatively few sources of anthropic disturbance. However, although the salinity shows some spatial and seasonal variability, no evident freshwater sources have been identified in TA. Manatees have been studied utilizing captures in Belize for years, but there ha d been no previous attempt s to capture manatees in TA. In May 2013, an expedition with the aim to capture and tag manatees in TA was coordinated by Sea to Shore Alliance, Oceanic Society and U.S. Geological Survey (R. B onde and C. Beck) and relied on the extraordinary support of many other Belizean organizations and i ndividuals. Captures fo llowed well-established standardized boat-based techniques. Two adult manat ees were captured along the west coast of TA. The first manatee was an adult, and possibly pregnant female captured at Douglas Lagoon. Due to the presence of scars on the tail and back, it was possible to confirm that this individual had been sighted consistently in the same area du ring boat-based surveys conducted a few months earlier. The second animal was an adult male captured at the mouth of Ambergris Creek. All captured manatees were checked during detailed health assessments, sample d and fitted with satellite PTT tracking devices before release. The male was tracked for 39 days until the tag stopped working, while the female has been tracked for 121 days until this analysis and is currently still tagged. Ma natees remained in TA during 55% (female) and 70% (male) of the tracking days, indicating stro ng site fidelity. The female has always used the Douglas Lagoon area, while the ma le preferred Vincent (N orth) Lagoon. Exploratory analysis indicates a consistent pa ttern of travel between TA and th e mainland, presumably to satisfy freshwater needs. Although the visits to the mainland are relatively short (less than one day), they seem to be regular, with a time window between trips ra nging from 8 to 15 days (A verage: 11.45 days). Both manatees have also regularly stopped in Drowne d Cayes while traveling toward the mainland or returning to TA; the use of Drow ned Cayes was 36% and 10% of the tracking time respectively (for the female and male). While manatees have used the we stern area of TA, which offe rs an excellent habitat for manatees, our preliminary results suggest that travels to the mainla nd could be necessary in order to satisfy their need for freshwater. The protection of manatee corridors along the coastal area of Belize City may be vital to maintaining an adequate manatee population in TA. – Nataly CastelblancoMartnez (Oceanic Society,, James Powell (Sea to Shore Alliance), Jamal Galves (Sea to Shore Alliance & Coas tal Zone Management Belize), and Nicole Auil-Gmez (Southern Environmental Association)


Sirenews No. 60 13 October 2013 Manatee capture crew in Turneffe Atoll, Belize BRAZIL Two Caribbean manatee calves rescued in coastal Amazonia. Between July and September 2013, two orphaned manatees were rescued in brackish waters in regions consider ed to be potenti al hybridization areas between Amazonian and Caribbean manatees. The first animal, a 1.32m, 36 kg male named Omar, was rescued by local inhabitants of Passagem Grande village, Salvaterra in the Maraj Island. Omar is being cared for by the same family of teachers who re scued a female manatee calf in the same area five years ago, with the support of Group of Studies of Amazon Aquatic Mammals (GEMAM, associated with the Goeldi Museum in Belm). Victor Marac (1 m, 19 kg) was rescued by local firefighters at Marac-Jipioca Ecological Station, 300 m off the Amap municipality coast in the Brazilian state of Amap. These rescues elicited an immediat e response by governmental and non-governmental organizations, including members of the northern branch of the Brazilian Aquatic Mammal Stranding Network, law enforcement (IBAMA), management (ICMBio) and research (Amap Research Institute, Mamirau Institute, Aquatic Mammals Foundation and Goeldi Museum/GEMAM). Victor is presently in quarantine in the capital Macap and is scheduled to be transported by air to Maraj Island to be rehabilitated with Omar. He will be released in Amap after two years of rehabilitation. Similarly, Omar will be returned at his original rescue site in Maraj Island. -Miriam Marmontel (Mamiraua


Sirenews No. 60 14 October 2013 Institute for Sustainable Developmen t, Brazil;, Danielle S. Lima, Renata Emin, Iranildo Coutinho, Sa ndra Romeiro and Leandro Aranha The Brazilian north coast. Compared to other areas where ma natees are found, the Brazilian north coast is unique. It contains the only known co-occu rrence of two species of manatees: the Amazonian manatee ( Trichechus inunguis ) and the Antillean manatee ( T. manatus ). Domning (1981) was the first to propose the area of the mouth of the Amazon River, in Brazil, as a possible zone of occurrence of the two species of manatees. At that time, at the begi nning of the 1980s, he also speculated, due to the lack of concrete evidence of their pres ence, that the Antillean manatee had been extinct in the Maraj region. More recently, Vianna et al (2006) reported the existence of hybr ids near the mouth of the Amazon River, in the state of Amap . In addition, a skull of T. manatus was recovered in Soure, in November 2005, on the east coast of the Maraj, refuting the hypothesis of a possible gap in the distribution of the T. manatus in this poorly surveyed stretch of coast (Siciliano et al. 2007). Since this remarkable record, ten manatee strandings were recorded in the vicini ties of the Maraj bay: six were on the east bank and four strandings on the west bank the bay. Most stranded individuals were calves (70%), with the same proportion of males and females (N = 05). Th e years 2010 and 2012 had a higher frequency of strandings (N = 03, each). Of all stranded animals, seven were rescued alive and currently only two, both from the municipality of Salv aterra, are in rehabilitation: a fe male at the Center for Aquatic Mammals (ICMBio / CMA-PA) in Belm, Par, and a male in a semi-captive environment in the community of Passagem Grande, municipality of Salv aterra, Maraj Island, Par. This later specimen has nails but also has a white patch in the bell y. Long-term surveys, init iated in 2005, are underway along the Par state coast. These records represent a concrete result of the intense awareness campaign and field survey efforts conducted by the GEMAM’s Museu Paraense Emlio Goeldi research team. Maura Sousa, Renata Emin-Lima and Salvatore Siciliano1,2 (1Museu Paraense Emlio Goeldi, Coordenao de Zoologia, Setor de Mastozoologia, Gr upo de Estudos de Mamfero s Aquticos da Amaznia (GEMAM), Av. Perimetral, 1901, Terra Firme, Bel m, Par, Brazil, 66077-530, E-mail Maura Sousa

Sirenews No. 60 15 October 2013 pollution, ship collisions and ghost nets. The almost complete lack of scientific data on the biology, distribution, stock structure and a bundance of sea turtles and cetac eans in Cameroon waters has as detrimental result that the impact of these threats cannot be properl y evaluated, let alone addressed. An acceleration of research is inevitab le with the involvement of nationa l universities. More faunal surveys are needed to unveil the potential of the reserve and the need to establish and identify important relationships between species abundance, site tem poral conditions (sandbank disappearance) and socioeconomic activities with the view of identifying sustainable wetland ecosystem utilization options. Destruction of habitats: Habitat destruction is the main thre at to manatees through deforestation by cutting firewood, work around the fisheries along th e coast, and the extens ion of agro-industries. Others include pollution related to the use pesticides and other ferti lizers around Lake Ossa in Dizangue Littoral Region. Urbanization by expanding coastal citi es and the mining and quarrying of sand are also important factors. Poaching: Poaching through illegal hunting is still a threat to this sp ecies despite legislation and numerous conservation measures in place. Illegal hunting takes plac e in many locations, for example around Douala-Edea Wildlife Reserve and Cameroon Estuary. Unwanted catches: Unwanted catches are also a threat to this species as the net frame is the vehicle widely used in various fisheries (Ayissi 2008 et Jeff et al 2010). Desertification and Climate Change: The drying of various aquatic environments, especially in the inland areas of lakes and along so me rivers including the advancemen t of desert is attributed to climate change. Climate change greatly reduces vuln erable habitats around La ke Tchad and surrounding rivers. Site-specific threats: a) Ntem Estuary on the border to Equatorial Guinea Water pollution: The release of hydrocarbon pollutants from forest companies in this area, Ntem River and its tributaries, are a potential threat, ho wever no information exists on the impact of this threat. In the near future the construction of the deepwater port and dam on the Mvele-Ntem River will produce a negative impact on the habitat of this species. Unwanted catches : They were noted through fishing nets because fishing is the main socioeconomic activity in the area. b) Cameroon Estuary Water pollution : Through the discharge of pollutants from the oil companies and factories of the area such as ALUCAM Breweries, th e Port of Douala, Douala Airpor t, cement plants and many solid and liquid wastes from households, re sulting in much destruction of ha bitat. One of the most affected aquatic ecosystems is Lake Ossa with polluti on from SAFACAM (agro-industrial farm) causing eutrophication of the ecosystem. Th is area is subject to a decade of boom in oil exploration with many potential releases without prior indi cation of threats to this species. Poaching: Manatee meat is common in many restaurants mainly in the cities of Edea, Douala, and Mouanko. These animals are taken with a harpoon, ne ts, traps etc. Accordi ng to Ayissi (2007), 18 individuals were captured in Cant on Yassoukou in the Sanaga Maritim e within a three week period. Also one of the major centers of capture for this species is in the upper re aches of the River Nkam atYabassi and in Lake Bodiman. Unwanted catches : One of the greatest threats to this speci es in the area is accidental capture in fishing nets in the lagoons and lakes (e.g. Lakes Ossa, Tissongo, and Nsah; Sanaga, Nyong and Dipombe Rivers; and Mouaha and Kombe streams). According to Ay issi (2013) in and around Mouanko 4-6 individuals were taken monthly during the major rai ny season (June – October).


Sirenews No. 60 16 October 2013 Deforestation: Deforestation of mangroves for use as firewood and for fish smoking, and expansion of agribusiness such as SOCAPALM and SAFACAM (Palm and rubber agro-industrial farms). According to CWCS (2001) and Din et al. (2008), 500,000m3/an fuel wood and service are taken to the city of Douala and according to Ajonina (2012) between 1985 and 2010 there was an almost complete disappearance of 20-25% of mangrove fore sts in the Cameroon Estuary. This was mainly through the rapid urbanization of the city of D ouala and siltation and sedimentation (Borough of Dizangue). The impact of this is unknown because no evidence exists for damage assessment. c) Rio Del Rey Estuary and Nigeria border Water pollution : Through the discharge of pollutants from the oil companies and factories such as SONARA (oil company), CDC, PAMOL (Palm and r ubber agro-industrial farm s) and solid and liquid waste from households in this area. This area has been subject to a decade of boom in oil exploration with many potential releases without prior indication of threats to this species. Poaching : Manatees are hunted in this region and according to Grigione (1996) cross-border traffic exists with neighboring Nigeria in this area but data is lacking on ca tch data and traffic. Unwanted catches : As in all areas that use nests as fishing gear, by-catch are common in the waters of Nina, Granny, and Cross Rivers and numerous creeks. However, information about this threat is non-existent. Deforestation : Deforestation in this area for fire wood, fish smoking, and the expansion of agribusinesses such as CDC and PAMOL, with mu ch infrastructural development since post-war Bakassi; data is non-existent. Conservation efforts Research: Many efforts have been made by some orga nizations such as WCS, CWCS, WWF and CAML. Their efforts have focused on the dist ribution, status and threats to the species. Policy, Legal and Institutional framework: The manatee as an endangered species has a strict protection of species in Class A according to the laws on the regime of Wildlife in Cameroon. In addition there is a series of texts and laws relating to the protection of this species such as: Law 94/01 (20 January 1994) laying down fore st, fauna and fish diet; Mi nisterial order-0002/MINEPIA ( 01 August 2001) to set up protection of fish resources; Ministerial order -0021/MINEPIA (11 April 2002) to set up inspection of industrial fi shing vessels, scientific observations and monitoring of the fishing activities. Moreover, the country is a signatory to many international conventi ons such as: The Convention on the Conservation of Nature in Africa (or Algiers Convention, 1968; ratified in August 29, 1978); CITES (Convention on In ternational Trade in Enda ngered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, ratified 5 June 1982; The CPM (W orld Heritage Convention), ratified December 7, 1982; CMS (Convention on Migratory Species), rati fied 01 November 1983; The Abidjan Convention, ratified August 5, 1984; CBD (Conv ention on Biological Diversity), ratified 19 October 1994; The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, ratified 26 January 2006; the program for the Man and the Biosphere (MAB); and The Convention on the World Heritage of UNESCO. Many institutions, administrations, national and international NGOs, civil societies, a nd grassroots organizations are involved in the conservation of this species. Habitat Restoration : Many efforts are underway to rest ore manatee ecosystems by planting mangroves as well as conducting experiments at the Wildlife Reserves of Douala-Edea and “Bois de Singes”, the coast around Kribi by institutions such as MINEPDEP, CWCS, University of Douala, the RCM, FAO and othe r organizations.


Sirenews No. 60 17 October 2013 Barriers to efforts Research: Despite research efforts various gaps still exis t because the status of certain threats such as deforestation, pollution, and poaching in so me sites are not well understood. Even populations and their sizes are poorly understoo d. Furthermore, there is not enough information on genetic aspects to differentiate subpopulations. Policy, Le gal and Institutional framework: Despite the national dynamics, populations of this species are facing numerous threats, as the coun try is not a signatory of the CMS MoU for the Conservation of the Manatee and Small Cetaceans. In addition, the country does not have a legally protected marine area. Habitat Restoration: Apart from some mangrove reforestati on actions, these actions are centered in part of the Cameroon Estuary around the city of Douala. In addition to many great works, the distribution area of the species has adequate management plans, howev er the effective management of solid and liquid waste is lacking. Recommendations Research: further research at critic al sites to assess populations ; study of migration flows; evaluate all impacts especially poaching, pollution, and the destruction of critical habitats; study the composition of populations. Policy, Le gal and Institutional framework: signing the MoU for small cetaceans and Sirenian Western Atlantic; create marine pr otected sanctuaries in high distri bution areas; encourage a national policy for conservation of the species; training young Cameroonians on the bi ology of the species. Habitat Restoration : restore all habitats an d degraded mangroves along the coast; assess impact studies of different projects on the coast that involve the conservati on of manatees in the management plans; manage household waste efficiently on the Cameroon coast; educate and sensitize the masses Acknowledgements Thanks to all who were involved in this surv ey, particularly the field staff from CWCS (Cameroon Wildlife Conservation Society) of Douala -Edea Wildlife Reserve and other NGOs such as ACBM (Association Camerounaise de Biologie Ma rine); local people from Yassoukou, Malimba and Bodiman; and the boat pilot, Timba Martin, from Mouanko. Isidore Ayissi (Marine biologis t/oceanographer) FLORIDA Florida loses two manatee matriarchs in 2013. The year 2013 has been a record-setting year for manatee mortality in Florida (FWC 2013), but of the many deaths documented, two warrant special mention: Piety, estimated age of 43 years at de ath, and Narnia, 35 years old at death. Each had extensive sighting histories and were two of th e longest-documented wild Florida manatees. Piety was first documented by pioneer researcher Dr. Daniel (Woody) Hartman as part of the 1972-73 winter aggregation of manat ees using Kings Bay, Crystal River, located on Florida’s northwest coast. She was recognizable by a seri es of linear scars on her back, the result of a boat’s propeller strike. During the subsequent 40 years since Piety’s firs t documentation, she received additional scars from encounters with boats, and was well known to biologists and the public alike. Although we do not know her year of birth, Piety was independent during that winter of 1972-73, but was considered young. In February 1978 she was observed with her first known calf, who researchers named Narnia. Like her mother, Narnia also was well known due to her scars, the first


Sirenews No. 60 18 October 2013 received while she was still nursing from Piety. As time went by, a propeller st rike in 1997 resulted in the loss of a large port ion of her tail, which made her highly visible to observers. Until their deaths in 2013, each of these manatees had extensive sighting histories at Crystal River, as well as at other sites al ong the northwest coast of Florida. The MIPS archives contain a total of 182 sightings of Piety, and 163 of Narnia. Both Piety and Narnia were just two of the now estimated 600+ manatees that overwinter at Crystal River each year, yet each was a significant c ontributor to the Crystal River manatee population. During Piety’s lifetime she was documented with 13 calves, her last known in 2009. Narnia was documented with 14 calves during her lifetime, her last known in 2010. Both manatees were recovered dead by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation biologists in Kings Bay, Crystal River, Narnia on 26 Feb 2013 and Piety on 12 Mar 2013. The cause of death was undetermined for both. We are saddened by this news, but herald their contribution to he lping scientists better understand manatee biology and the thr eats that challenge their existence. Currently, over 3,000 Florida manatees are indi vidually identifiable by unique features, predominantly scars and mutilations resulting from acci dental encounters with boats. These individuals are photographically documente d and their sighting hist ories are archived in the Manatee Individual Identification System known as MIPS. MIPS data ar e analyzed to estimate a dult survival, reproduction, and movements (Beck et al. 2012). Cathy A. Beck ( U.S. Geological Survey, Southeast Ecological Science Center, 7920 NW 71st Street, Gainesville, Florida 32653, USA) References Beck, C.A. and A. Clark. 2012. Individual iden tification of Sirenians. Chapter 15, pp. 133-138 in Hines, Reynolds, Aragones, Mignucci-Giannoni, and Marm ontel, eds. Sirenian Conservation: Issues and Strategies in Developing Countries University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. 326 pp. Florida Fish and Wildlife Cons ervation Commission (FWC). 2013. 2013 Preliminary manatee mortality report. /manatee/rescue-mortality-response/mortalitystatistics/2013/. Accessed on 16 September 2013. INDIA Where have all the dugongs gone? A study on long-term occupancy trends in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, India. Long-term (over 50 years) occupancy, pe rsistence and extin ction of a datapoor dugong ( Dugong dugon ) population were estimated across multiple seagrass meadows in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago in India. This study was based on historical sighting, stranding and mortality records from 1959-2004 an d extensive surveys carried out by us between the years 2010 and 2012 in all potential dugong habitats c overing about 75 % of the coastline. Dugong populations are currently rest ricted to a few areas where th ey seem to have persisted over several years. We found that dugong occupancy had declined by 60% over the last 20 years and the present-day occurrences were mainly in sheltered ba ys and channels with pe rsistent seagrass meadows dominated by Halophila and Halodule sp. Within these locations, dugongs consistently avoided patchy meadows with low seagrass cover. Availability of suitable seagrass habitat is not a limiting factor for dugong presence, but entanglement in gillnets and direct hunting appears to have likely resulted in local extinction of dugongs from several locations.


Sirenews No. 60 19 October 2013 Presently, though they are not a targeted specie s, many dugongs get accidentally entangled in nets or hit by propellers of fast moving boats causing serious injuries to the animal. We conclude that the effective management of these remnant e ndangered dugong populations will require a multi-pronged approach involving the following: 1) Complete protection of areas wher e dugongs continue to persist, 2) Monitoring of seagrass habitats that dugongs could potentially re-col onize in the near future, 3) Reducing gillnet use in seagrass meadows us ed by dugongs, and 4) Working with indigenous communities to reduce impacts of traditional hunting. This study is part of a recovery program undertaken by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in collaboration with the Nature Conservation Founda tion. The results were base d on our research during Phase I of the project during which we aimed to gather some of the basic information on population and habitat distribution, dugong habitat us e and threat assessment that woul d feed into a larger recovery plan. In the second phase, we pl an to develop and implement a comprehensive community based monitoring program and build up this informati on combining further population, behavioral, and seagrass ecosystem system studies with management, policy and education programs. -Elrika D'souza (Research Fellow, Nature Conservation F oundation, Mysore; and Vardhan Patankar (Research Fellow, Nature Conservation Foundation & Research Affiliate, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Environmental Team (ANET) Reference D'Souza, E., Patankar, V., Arthur, R., Alcoverro, T. and Kelkar, N. 2013. Long-term occupancy trends in a data-poor dugong population in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. PLoS ONE, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076181 OKINAWA The Uncovered “Inconvenient Truth”. Inappropriate facility for the dugong: The Okinawan dugongs are in peril. According to a multi-year survey un dertaken by Okinawa Defense Bureau, there are three remaining dugongs inhabiting Okinawan waters; two (mother and calf) are often seen along northwestern shores and another is regularly se en around Kayo, roughly five km to the east of Henoko near the site of the planned Futemma U.S. Base. In the past dugongs were occasionally observed off the coast of Henoko, however no sightings have been reported since 2009. Irresponsible EIA: The Okinawa Defense Bureau submitted the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report to th e Okinawa Prefecture in Decemb er 2011. The conclusion of the assessment was that “implementation of the pr oject would have littl e impact on each dugong’s inhabitation range, behavioral ecology and feeding environment, as well as on status of the Okinawan dugong population”. However, 517 inadequacies and mi strusts of the assessment were pointed out by the Okinawa governor in March 2012. The governor submitted his opinion to the Okinawa Defense Bureau saying that “it is impossible to protect the environment if the ba se was to be constructed”. The Okinawa Defense Bureau submitted the revised EI A report in December 2012, and then applied for permission to reclaim the planned base area despite many problems still left in the revised statement. The Okinawa governor must decide whether to permit it or not in the near future. Inconvenient truth for EIA and the base: On 22 September 2013, newspapers reported that during the period from April to June 2012, for the first tim e in three years, a total of 12 feeding trails of dugongs were found in coastal water off Henoko, wh ere the reclamation is planned. The Tokyo Shimbun, in its 22 September issue, also reported that a dugong was sighted in May 2012 swimming in


Sirenews No. 60 20 October 2013 Oura Bay, adjacent to Henoko waters in an area also pl anned for partial reclamation. These facts in the survey report first came to light due to a righ t-to-know request by the Kyodo News Service. The Okinawa Defense Bureau stated that the su rvey report was not intended for publication. Despite the dugong feeding trails found in Henoko in 2012, the revised EIS submitted in December 2012 did not include such descriptions and the impact assessment was conducted without taking into consideration the curren t use of the base-plann ed site by the dugongs. The Okinawa Defense Bureau says the “EIA takes into account the past feeding trails found around Henoko, so the conclusion of the assessment does not need to be changed. Th ere are no plans to rethink the base relocation.” The revised EIA must be amended: The dugong which left his/her f eeding trails in Henoko is considered to be the juvenile who became independent of his/her mother a few years ago and has been migrating extensively in search of feeding ground s. Henoko has the largest seagrass bed in Okinawa, and the dugongs are likely to use th e area in the future. Therefore, th e revised EIA should be reviewed and amended according to the fact that the dugongs use the seagrass beds in Henoko. This information would make it impossible to conclude that the pr oject would “have little impact”. However, the Okinawa Defense Bureau maintains a stubborn attitude and the Japanese governme nt is eager to move forward with the project. If the Okinawa Defense Bur eau initiates the project, we are afraid that the Okinawan dugong population may be driven into extinction. – Taiko Kudo ( SRI LANKA Dugongs and Humans: The Sr i Lankan situation. Our research carried out in the North coastal regions of the country (mainly focusing on the Gu lf of Mannar and Palk Bay areas) assessed the interactions between fishermen and dugongs as well as the occurrence of hunting and accidental deaths of dugongs. More than 85% of the interviewed fisher men confirmed that they have seen dugongs during their fishing careers. Many of these fishermen knew of specialized dugong hunter s in their communities who in the past and to date purposely target dugongs. Almost all fishermen agreed upon the fact that the number of dugong bycatch has lessened over the years. However, the disconcerti ng fact was that they believe that it is due to a dras tic reduction in the dugong populations courtesy of dynamite fishing and overhunting of the animal in the past and even now. When asked what they would do with an animal th at is accidentally caught in their fishing gear, many fisherman claimed that they would consume pa rt of the meat and sell the rest. The number of fishermen insisting on releasing the animal was signi ficantly less. This clearly shows that to these people, a stranded or accidentally caught dugong automa tically becomes an important source of income as well as meat. The fact that a dugong contains a larg e amount of meat directly translates into a large sum of money with a minimal amount of effort. From the point of view of a dugong conservationist these are vital points that need direct and scrupulous attention. However, hope lie s in the fact that 100% of the fishermen acknowledge the im portance of dugongs as a component of nature. We believe that this can and has to be capitalized upon when de vising a conservation plan for the dugongs. As we see it, another reason for the declin e of dugong numbers could very well be the destruction of seagrass beds along th e north and northeastern coasts of Sri Lanka. Sea grass is the main source of food for the dugong as research has clear ly shown. Therefore th e proper assessment and management of seagrass beds are of param ount importance for the conservation of dugongs. Dugong conservation in Sri Lanka should be a multi-pronged endeavour with a high emphasis placed on the fishing communities in and around the northern coast. Ranil P. Nanayakkara ( or


Sirenews No. 60 21 October 2013 REPUBLIC OF TRIN IDAD AND TOBAGO Review of the Policy and Legislative Framework fo r the Conservation of West Indian Manatees ( Trichechus manatus manatus ) in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The following is a current review of the main policy and legi slative framework for the conserva tion of the West Indian manatee ( Trichechus manatus manatus) species and habitat in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The specific policy and legislative framework for the West Indian manatee conservation and management in Trinidad and Tobago is specific to highly complex and include s numerous policies, laws, and plans at the national level, as well as regional and in ternational agreements and formal commitments. The existing policy and legislative framework is species specific and non-specifi c that can be applied to define the species as an animal, fish, living natural resource and an endangered species. The primary lead national environmental policy which addresses the species is the National Environmental Policy 2006, which establishes a policy context for the protection and conservation of the species by the state. This policy is not an isol ated statement, but builds on the existing policy framework, and supplements and enhances other pub lic policies and plans, including National Wetland Policy 2001, Draft National Wildlif e Policy 2013, Draft National Prot ected Areas Policy 2011, National Forest Policy 2011, National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2001, UNEP: Regional Management Plan for the West Indian Manatee ( Trichechus manatus ) 2010 and the Draft Trinidad and Tobago Manatee Recovery Plan 2000. It is envisaged that this Policy will be enabled and implemented through existing and proposed legislation, st rategic plans of key government agencies and other private and public institutions, and management pl ans for the species and its habitats. Section 3.1 and 3.2 of the National Environmen tal Policy 2006 commits the Government to establish and maintain Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) were by Government will establish a system of protected areas through the designation of ESAs for parts of the environment that are significant examples of the country’s heritage and of great importance to the sustenance of life, science, the country or the internationa l community. Under section 3.2, Environmentally Sensitive Species (ESS), the Government will establish a system for the protection of animals and plants in Trinidad and Tobago which scientific evidence suggests are rare endemic, endangered, vulnerable or keystone species, through their designation as Environmentally Sensitive Speci es. Also, the implementation of international commitments relating to the Convent ion on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (U NCCD), Ramsar, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flor a (CITES), and the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW). The main legislative framework that addresses th e conservation of West Indian manatees is the designation as an ESS under secti on 41 of the Environmental Mana gement Act 2000; under rules 3, 4 and 5 of the ESS Rules 2001; and Environmentall y Sensitive Species (Manatee) Legal Notice No 123 2005. The 2005 notice has four sections; Part I designates the animal as an ESS, Part II gives the reason to meet the objectives for the designation as a ESS, Pa rt III gives the limitations on use of and activities with regard to the ESS with which compliance is requi red and Part IV outlines, subject to clause 5, the wise use of the ESS and the mitigating measures to be undertaken are specified. The other main direct supporting legal protection is the defi nition as an animal under the Cons ervation of Wildlife Act Chapter 67:01 (1958) of the Laws of Trinidad and Tobago, whic h in section 2 defines a “protected animal” as one that is not specifically mentioned in the 2nd or 3rd schedule to the Act. The West Indian manatee under this section can be liste d as a non-game species. Under the Fisheries Act Ch 67:51 (1980) the West I ndian manatee can be in terpreted as a “fish” where a “fish” includes “oysters, crabs, shrimps, tu rtle, turtle eggs, corals, and any species of other


Sirenews No. 60 22 October 2013 marine fauna. The full protection status of the species is limited by this definition as it may be challenged that the species may be “fished”. The Bulletin of the Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalist Club (Allahar 1993) identified the manat ee as an aquatic animal and “not hing in our fisheries legislation repeals the common law rights of the people to hunt it in the sea and in the tidal waters”. Only one of the species’ critical habitat areas are protected under Environmentally Sensitive Areas (Nariva Swamp Managed Resource Protecte d Area) Notice No. 334 2006 and the Bush Wildlife Sanctuary and Nariva Swamp Prohibited Area u nder the Conservation of Wildlife Act Chapter 67:01 (1980), Forests Act Chapter 66:01, and Legal Notice No.78 of 1993. Other supporting legal habitat protection provisions are avai lable under the Environmental Management Act (2000 and 2006), C onservation of Wildlife Act Ch apter 67:01 Act 16 (1958), Forests Act Chapter 66:01 Act 42 (1915; Amende d by 4, 1922; 29, 1925; 5, 1933; 37, 1933; 148, 1955; 23, 1999), Marine Areas (Preservation and. Enhancemen t) Act Chapter 37:02 (1970), Fisheries Act Ch 67:51 (1980), Archipelagic Waters and Exclusiv e Economic Zone Act Chapter 51:06, Town and Country Planning Act Chapter 35:01 Act 29 (1960; Amended by13, 1974; 49, 1977; 31, 1980; 21, 1985; 21, 1990), Municipal Corporations Act No. 21 (1990; Amended 2007), M unicipal Corporations Act No. 21 (1990), Tobago House of Assembly Act of 1996 and the National Heritage Tr ust Act, (Chap. 40:53). The lead management implementation of primary policies and laws for th e West Indian manatee is effected mainly through the Conservation of Wild life Act (CoWA), Chapter 67:01, and enforced in the island of Trinidad by the Forestry Division W ildlife Section and in the island of Tobago by the Department of Natural Resources and the Enviro nment (DNRE) of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA). The management of wildlife is also regulated through the environmentall y sensitive species and areas (ESS and ESA) rules of the Environmental Management Act Chap. 35:05, which is primarily implemented by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) and the DNRE in Tobago. There is a need for review of a ny conflicting species legal status, especially the Fisheries Act Ch 67:51 (1980), and a greater need for the political will to allocate resour ces due to poor record of policy and legal implementation for an inte grated institutional policy and le gislative coordination. There is critical in situ need for sustainable species a nd habitat conservation and protection, enforcement, monitoring and research. – Jalaludin Ahmad Khan ( Independent Marine Mammal Researcher/Director INDIVERSITY GROUP; Email:; Phone: (868)7431604; P.O. Box 1400, Port of Spain, Trinid ad and Tobago, West Indies) Stranding Reports of West Indian Manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Over the last 23 years six manatees have been estimated stranded in Trinidad and Tobago based on documented and unconfirmed reports The most recent reported incident occurred in July 2013 of one juvenile manatee which died. Most documented reports are from the Nariva River drainage and Ortoire River on the east coast of Trinidad. This summary is not a fully comprehensive list from all habitat areas. Standings reports 1990-2013 2013 July (1) One male baby manatee was reported resc ued from the mouth of Ortoire River, Manzanilla, Trinidad on 11 July 2013. The manatee wa s 40 inches in length and weighed approximately 14 kg. The rescue was a joint effort by the Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago Inc, the Manatee Conservation Trust, and Forestry Division. The manatee died after 16 days of care at the Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago Inc Zoo in Port of Spain. Newspapers reported that necropsy findings conducted by Dr. Ray Ball, senior veterinarian a nd director of medical sc ience, Lowry Park Zoo, Florida, USA, showed that he had no body fat rese rves, was suffering from pneumonia, gastroenteritis,


Sirenews No. 60 23 October 2013 ulcers and intestinal damage, and that the right flipper x-rays showed it had been dislocated which made it difficult for the manatee to swim. The dislo cation appeared to be a natural deformity. 2011 October to December (2) Two adult manatee carcasses were reported, one at the mouth of the Mitan River (Nariva) and the other on the shor e of Cocos Bay. The Manatee Conservation Trust gathered reports from concerned villagers that one of the manatees, while in the sea north of the Ortoire River, was being harassed by fishermen who kept passing a boat over the area where the manatee was observed. Signs of abrasions on the back of one of the manatee carcasses, most likely from a collision with a boat, lend credence to this report and the Trust condemns th is act of cruelty. 2000 September (1) – One manatee calf which was illegally ta ken from the mangroves near the Mitan River (Nariva River) by an individua l who had intentions of selling it to the Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago Inc Zoo. Th e Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago Inc and the Manatee Conservation Trust reported that they investigated and found the calf swimming in a shallow ravine behind a house in Las Lomas (Centr al Trinidad). The animal was reported to have been rescued, rehabilitated, and returned to the wild at the Nariva Swamp by the Mana tee Conservation Trust. 1994 (1) – A dead adult manatee was reporte d sighted in the Mitan River. 1993 (1) – The birth of a manatee calf was reported in Nari va swamp. The animal was not reported as stranded. 1990 (1) One adult manatee sighted at the L’Embaranche River was accidentally caught in a fishing net and butchered. Jalaludin Ahmad Khan (Independent Marine Mammal Researcher/Director INDIVERSITY GROUP; Email: ; Phone: (868)7431604; P.O. Box 1400, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies) RECENT LITERATURE Barbosa, P.S., V.M.F. da Silva and G. Pereira, Jr. 2013. Transit time of two diet s in the gastrointestinal tract of the Amazonian manatee Tr ichechus inunguis (Natterer, 1883) in captivity. Acta Amazonica 43(3):365-370. Beatty, B.L., T. Vitkovski, O. Lambert and T.E. Macrin i. 2012. Osteological a ssociations with unique tooth development in manatees (T richechidae, Sirenia): A detailed look at modern Trichechus and a review of the fossil record. The Anatomical Record 295:1504–1512. Bonde, R.K., A. Garrett, M. Berlanger, N. Aski n, L. Tan and C Wittnich. 2012. Biomedical health assessments of the Florida manatee in Crystal Ri ver providing opportunities for training during the capture, handling, and processing of this unique aqua tic mammal. Journal of Marine Animals and Their Ecology 5(2):17-28. Burgess, E.A., W.H. Blanshard, A.D. Barnes, S. Gilc hrist, T. Keeley, J. Chua and J.M. Lanyon. 2013. Reproductive hormone monitoring of dugongs in captivity: Detect ing the onset of sexual maturity in a cryptic marine mammal. Animal Reproduction Science 140(3-4):255-267. Capper, A., L.J. Flewelling and K. Arthur. 2013. Dietary exposure to ha rmful algal bloom (HAB) toxins in the endangered manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris ) and green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) in Florida, USA. Harmful Algae 26:1-9.


Sirenews No. 60 24 October 2013 Da Oliveira, M.D., R. Schwamborn, J.C.G. Borges, M. Marmontel, A.F. Costa; C.A.F. Schettini and M. E. de Araujo. 2013. Aerial survey of manatees, dolphins and sea turtles off northeastern Brazil: Correlations with coastal features and human activities. Biological Conservation 161:91-100. Erbe, C. 2013. Underwater noise of small personal watercraft (jet skis). Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 133(4):EL326-EL330. Fitzgerald, E.M.G., J. Velez-Juarbe and R.T. Wells. 2013. Miocene sea cow (Sirenia) from Papua New Guinea sheds light on sirenian evolution in the Indo-Pacific. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33(4): 956-963. To link to this article: http :// Flamm, R.O., J.E. Reynolds III and C. Harmak. 2013. Improving conservation of Florida manatees ( Trichechus manatus latirostris ): Conceptualization and contributi ons toward a regional warm-water network management strategy for sustainable winter habitat. Environmental Management 51(1):154166. Gerlach, T.J., A.H. Estrada, I.S. Sosa, M. Powell, H.W. Maisenbacher, M. de Wit, R.L. Ball and M.T. Walsh. 2013. Echocardiographic evaluation of clinically healthy Florida manatees ( Trichechus manatus latirostris ). Journal of Zoo and Wild life Medicine 44(2):295-301. Nielsen, K.A., H.C. Owen, P.C. Mills, M. Flint a nd J.S. Gibson. 2013. Bacteria isolated from dugongs ( Dugong dugon ) submitted for postmortem examination in Queensland, Australia, 2000-2011. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 44(1):35-41. Olivera-Gomez, L.D. and E. Mellink. 2013. Aqua tic macrophytes within a Mesohaline Bay, sanctuary for manatees ( Trichehus manatus ), on the Caribbean coast of Me xico. Southwestern Naturalist 58(2):216-222. Pusineri, C., J. Kiszka, M. Quillard and S. Caceres. 2013. The endangered status of dugongs Dugong dugon around Mayotte (East Africa, Mozambique Cha nnel) assessed through in terview surveys. African Journal of Marine Science 35(1):111-116. Rajamani, L. 2013. Using community knowledge in da ta-deficient regions: Conserving the vulnerable dugong Dugong dugon in the Sulu Sea, Malaysia. Oryx 47(2):173-176. Siegal-Willott, J.L., K.E. Harr, J.O. Hall, L.C. Hayek, N. Auil-Gomez, R.K. Bonde, J.A. Powell and D.H. Heard. 2013. Blood mineral co ncentrations in manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris and Trichechus manatus manatus ). Journal Zoo and Wildlif e Medicine 44(2):285-294.


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