Manatee researchers and conservation workers share a database of information to help them identify individual manatees. Manatees sometimes have scars or injuries that can be used to identify the animals because they create unique markings. When researchers can identify an individual animal, they record the location where it was found, date and time, and what the animal was doing. That information can help researchers understand where manatees travel, how long they live, how often they reproduce and more.
Researchers at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium train new researchers to identify animals based on these marks by using sets of cards. The researcher practices matching photographs with diagrams that show the scar patterns of known manatees. In this activity, you can practice the same skills!
Download ID Cards and Lesson Plan Materials
Download the Teacher's Guide, Student Handout, and Printable PDF Cards using the links below!
* Note to Teachers - The Printable Card files are 2-page PDFs, each with images for 4 cards. We recommend you print in full color on card stock. The 2nd page is an image on the back of the card, and this is optional. You may print cards for your own classroom, but reproduction and distribution of the cards to others is prohibited.
Conservation Tales acknowledge support from Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.