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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Learning about Manatees: A Collaborative Program between New College of Florida and Mote Marine Laboratory to Conduct Laboratory Research for Manatee Conservation


Research with captive manatees initiated as part of a New College of Florida class project at MoteMarine Laboratory has yielded a wide range of research with substantive implications formanagement and conservation. Our training program directly supported investigations of bloodchemistry, immune function, stress-related physiology, respiration, thermoregulation, and behavioralecology. Our investigations of sensory processes included studies of visual acuity, color vision,passive and active touch, auditory frequency detection thresholds, auditory temporal processing rates,hearing in noise, and sound localization. Undergraduate and graduate students involved in thisprogram have been successfully mentored in sensory processes, animal behavior, and conservation.Further validation of the educational benefits of studying captive manatees awaits formal research onattitude, behavior change, and public policy related to protecting manatees and other marinemammals in natural settings.

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