projects > predicting effects of hydrologic restoration on manatees along the southwest coast of florida > project summary
Project Summary Sheet
U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Science Program: Place-Based Studies
Fiscal Year 2002 Project Summary Sheet
Web Sites: www.fcsc.usgs.gov/manatees (see http://cars.er.usgs.gov/Manatees/manatees.html)
Location (Subregions & Counties): Southern Golden Gate Estates/Ten Thousand Islands, Collier County
Funding (Source): USGS Place-Based Studies
Principal Investigator(s): James P. Reid and Lynn W. Lefebvre
Project Personnel: Dean E. Easton, Bradley M. Stith, and Susan M. Butler
Supporting Organizations: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service -- Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, the National Park Service -- Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission -- Florida Marine Research Institute, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Cincinnati Zoo.
Overview & Status: The U.S. Geological Survey initiated a study on the impacts of hydrological restoration on manatees in the Ten Thousand Islands region in June 2000. The major objectives of the study are to determine distribution, movements, and habitat use of manatees associated with coastal waters and rivers, and to develop a population-level model to predict manatee response to changes in hydrology achieved by the Southern Gold Gate Estates (SGGE) project specifically, and more broadly by the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. This project overview describes results obtained through January 2002 in the following aspects of this study: strip-transect aerial surveys, satellite telemetry, and tracking of six individuals using a specially-designed Global Positioning System (GPS) tag. We have also included some preliminary spatial analysis of radio tracking and GPS data, using ArcGIS, to show potential changes in habitat use patterns associated with changes in availability of fresh water.
Needs & Products: A report on the first year's progress was provided to the USACE in August 2001. Research results were presented at the Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration science conference in December 2000, and the Estuarine Research Federation conference in November 2001.
Application to Everglades Restoration: As part of their research contribution to the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, the Florida Caribbean Science Centers' Sirenia Project initiated a study to evaluate manatee response to hydrologic restoration in the western Everglades, particularly as it relates to the western Ten Thousand Islands region. Freshwater sources are a principal component of manatee habitat. Changes in the distribution of freshwater into the Everglades system are likely to influence manatee distribution within the region.