The West Indian Manatee is one of four species of marine mammals alive on the planet today from the Order Sirenia. Often called "sea cows," the manatee is a large but very gentle species... and it's population numbers are low. Even though recently removed from the endangered species list, scientists are still concerned about manatee populations and the threats to parts of their environment. Those scientists are working to understand and protect these unique animals.
Part of this effort involves monitoring manatee populations during the winter when they come to warm freshwater springs in Florida, and tracking the movement of the animals through the year.
Come find out more about manatee conservation and the ways scientists are studying them!
Art Director - Barbara Giorgio-Booher
Illustrators - Sami Pfaff and Katie Kordesh
Graphic Designer - Natalie Rokosz
Educational Specialist - Shelby Stallard
Content Consulting by the US Geological Survey, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.
Conservation Tales: Manatees
Featured Activity - Manatee Match - Manatee researchers practice identifying manatees by the scars and injuries they carry. Now you can use the same images to learn this skill! Download the Manatee ID Card Game here.
Guided Reading Questions
Teachers, you can download these Guided Reading questions to use with your students in class. Teacher version and student version available!
Meet Bo! Bo saw a manatee in the waters beside his grandparents' home. You can read about his experience visiting with researchers and learning about the role scientists and ordinary citizens play in protecting manatees.
The Conservation Tales team spent some time in Florida with researchers from the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, a US Geological Service division working at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, We also partnered with researchers at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, FL. Their work to study and protect manatees is described in the book.
Sami and Katie are creating the illustrations using watercolors and acrylic gouache paints.