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Mar 24, 2015

17 Manatees Killed in 12 Weeks

Seventeen manatees in twelve weeks; those are the startling statistics coming from the Belize Manatee Conservation Program Coordinator today, following yet another sighting of dead manatees in Belizean waters. It has only been twelve weeks since the start of the year 2015 and since then, there has been up to seventeen manatees that have been killed by boats in no-wake zones in Belize City.  Last year alone, thirty-four manatee deaths were recorded, which is the highest number of mortality since 1997, when the conservation program was incepted. Jamal Galvez has been on the ground as program coordinator trying to protect the endangered species of sea cow, for which Belize has the largest population. But last Friday, a female manatee and its three-week-old calf were found dead in the Belize River Mouth area of the city. The mother had been killed when it was struck by the propeller of a boat; her calf died of hunger.

 

Jamal Galvez, Program Coordinator, Belize Manatee Conservation Program

“We haven’t gone through a week successfully without a dead manatee. That’s serious call for alarm. This animal is an endangered species and Belize has the highest population of this species in the world. So we in Belize should be protecting it better than we are. Last week Friday, we were at World Water Day trying to bring more awareness talking children when we got a call from Pepe Garcia about….he said there is a dead manatee at his house along with a baby dead. And it is rough. I mean it is just north of the Belize River mouth where manatees need to go. It is a very, very important area for manatees. It is one of the only, major freshwater outlets and manatees do need freshwater to survive so at some point these guys are going to go there for freshwater no matter how long it takes. So it is a very important area for manatees.”

 

Jamal Galvez

Duane Moody

“Talk to us about what you found when you went out there on site.”

 

Jamal Galvez

“There was a female, an adult female manatee along with a newborn calf. The female had boat strikes which caused the animal to have died and the calf didn’t have any boat strike, but from our assessment, we believe that the animal, because the female’s dead and the mother and calf bonding with manatees is very important…a baby manatee would not survive without its mother especially at such a young age. It is dependent on its mother for milk in order for it to survive and normally what we see with dead manatees that have baby, the baby would follow the carcass, while the carcass drifts not knowing the animal may have died. She probably hang there with the mother until it eventually died from hunger or some other conditions. It is like leaving the baby by itself without its mother.”

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1 Response for “17 Manatees Killed in 12 Weeks”

  1. katie valk says:

    That’s 1.4 manatees killed per week/73.6 per year/368.33 in 5 yrs. We are annihilating the population.

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