Abstract: Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in Florida utilize intake and effluent canals of power plants as resting and thermoregulatory habitat. We report the use of a power plant canal in Cuba by a known Florida manatee, the first documented case of movement by a manatee between Florida and Cuba. In January, February, and April 2007, two manatees (mother and calf) were reported entering a power plant canal in north Havana, Cuba. The larger manatee had several distinctive scars which were photographed. Digital images were matched to a previously known Florida manatee (CR131) with a sighting history dating from December 1979 to July 2006. Exchanges of individuals between Florida and Cuba may have important genetic implications, particularly since there appears to be little genetic exchange between the Florida manatee subspecies with populations of the Antillean manatee subspecies (T. m. manatus) in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Key Words: Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus, migration, photo-identification, power plant, Cuba
Document Type: Research article
Page Numbers: 148-153