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Florida Manatee Synoptic Aerial Survey 1991-2011

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Availability: Creative Commons License This dataset is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Data from manatee counting survey in all the known wintering habitats in Florida. more

The word "synoptic" means presenting a general view of the whole. The current manatee synoptic survey is a count of manatees over a broad area. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) uses these surveys to obtain a general count of manatees statewide. The FWC coordinates an interagency team that conducts the synoptic surveys from one to three times each year (weather permitting). The synoptic surveys are conducted in winter and cover all of the known wintering habitats of manatees in Florida. The survey is conducted to meet Florida state statute 370.12 (4), which requires an annual, impartial, scientific benchmark census of the manatee population. From 1991 through 2011, the counts have been conducted 27 times. These statewide, interagency surveys are currently conducted during the coldest weather of the year (January through March) when manatees move to warm-water sites, such as natural springs, thermal discharges from power and industrial plants, and deep canals. The ideal conditions for the current synoptic survey are cool weather, following a prolonged period of cold weather (usually following multiple cold fronts), low winds, and bright sunshine. Weather conditions and manatee behavior during the survey have a large effect on the synoptic counts. For that reason, the counts are used as indicators of relative abundance within a year and are not suitable for assessing long-term population trends. Counts can vary depending on whether it is warm or cold, sunny or cloudy, calm or windy. Manatees are more easily counted a few days after a cold front when it is slightly warmer, clear, and windless. A warming trend with sunny, windless conditions following cold weather increases the likelihood that manatees will be resting at the water's surface, where observers can easily spot them. The times are not recorded with this dataset, so 00:00:00 was filled and noted in the [Notes] field. 7/22/2011: This dataset, originally containing data from 1991-2008, was updated to include 2009-2011 data.

Biology > Mammals
Marine, ASW, USA, Florida, Trichechus manatus latirostris (Harlan, 1824)

Geographical coverage
ASW, USA, Florida [Marine Regions]

Temporal coverage
23 January 1991 - 24 January 2011

Taxonomic coverage
Trichechus manatus latirostris (Harlan, 1824) [WoRMS]

Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI), moredata owner

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Dataset information:

Dataset status: Completed
Data type: Data
Data origin: Monitoring: field survey
Metadatarecord created: 2012-11-21
Information last updated: 2012-11-21
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