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!
Conservation Tales acknowledge support from Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.