Strandings of Antillean manatees, <i>Trichechus manatus manatus</i>, in northeastern Brazil
AbstractThe Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) is considered to be one of the most endangered aquatic mammals in Brazil. From 1981 through 2002 an extensive research was performed to collect information about stranding of manatees of the northeast coast of Brazil. Data were separated in two distinct periods (1981-1990 and 1991-2002) and analyzed according to specific categories: stranded dead (captured by nets, captured by harpoons and undefined cause) and stranded alive (dead in captivity and captive population). There were 74 events of stranding manatees in the period surveyed. Thirty-one events of dead manatees and 43 events of specimens that survived until December, 2002 were recorded. In the last years of the study there were more strandings of live animals than dead. The main reason for the strandings of manatee calves in northeastern Brazil is the separation from their mothers. The largest numbers of stranded manatees occurred in Ceará and Rio Grande do Norte states.
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