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Manatee Research

The Marine Mammal Section of the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) is dedicated to protecting and conserving the Florida manatee through scientific research and education. Biologists at FWRI help conserve Florida manatees by identifying and reducing causes of mortality, disturbance and injury; by protecting essential habitats needed by manatees; by monitoring the status of these endangered animals; and by coordinating activities needed to protect manatees.


Manatee Photo-identification Program
By photographing manatees with distinct features researchers are able to track individual manatees over time and examine life history traits of the population.

Population Monitoring
Read about aerial surveys; synoptic surveys, including counts of manatees; and population assessments.

Manatee Radiotelemetry and Tracking
Understanding manatee behavior and ecology is central to addressing current and future threats facing this unique Florida mammal.  Biologists use satellite telemetry and other technologies to study manatee movements, habitat use, diving behavior, and response to human activities.

Manatee Avoidance Technology
The Florida Legislature has set aside funds to identify technological solutions for reducing collisions between boats and manatees.

Manatee Internships
The Marine Mammal Subsection offers a variety of manatee internships including positions that work on photo identification and GIS projects in St. Petersburg, as well as positions that assist field stations with manatee rescue, carcass salvage, and research in other areas around the state.

Partners in Manatee Health Research
Read about manatee research programs involving the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and other marine organizations and research facilities.