Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

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Manatee Radiotelemetry and Tracking

Understanding manatee behavior and ecology is central to addressing current and future threats facing this unique Florida mammal.  Biologists use satellite telemetry and other technologies to study manatee movements, habitat use, diving behavior, and response to human activities.



How Do We Track Manatees?

FWRI researchers use satellite-linked radio-tags to study manatee movements and habitat use. This article explains how we tag and track manatees, including the latest tag technology.

How to Report a Tagged Manatee

Learn how to report a tagged manatee and how to tell the difference between a GPS tag and an entanglement.

What Do We Learn by Tracking Manatees?

Attaching satellite-linked radio-tags to manatees allows researchers to better understand their movements, habitat requirements, and the natural and human factors that affect their behavior.  The knowledge and insights gained through tracking are valuable in devising strategies to most effectively protect manatees and the habitats upon which they depend.

Manatee Movement Animation in Tampa Bay

In this two-minute animation, you will see the movements of a tagged manatee during a three-day period in winter, as it repeatedly moved between a warm-water refuge and cooler feeding grounds.

Manatee Capture and Tagging: A Photo Set on Flickr

FWC biologists capture manatees to conduct health assessments and tagging.

Manatee Tracking and Behavior: A Photo Set on Flickr

FWC biologists study manatee movements and behavior in Florida. 



FWC Facts:
Seagrasses stabilize the sea bottom with their roots and rhizomes (underground stems) in much the same way that land grasses retard soil erosion.

Learn More at AskFWC