Manatee Research

Scientific research is important to help learn what manatees need to survive, how they behave, and what the threats are to their continued existence. With data, scientists can provide the information and documentation that can lead to their protection. This research is conducted by agencies and organizations including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the U.S. Geological Survey’s Sirenia Project (USGS), the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, Mote Marine Laboratory (MML), the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership, and Save the Manatee Club (SMC).

Research at Blue Spring State Park

Manatee researchers Wayne Hartley and Cora Berchem take note of manatee scar patterns and count the number of manatees in attendance at Blue Spring State Park
Wayne Hartley, Manatee Specialist, and Cora Berchem, Director of Multimedia & Manatee Research Associate, take “manatee roll call” at Blue Spring State Park.

©David Schrichte,

Since 1980, Wayne Hartley has served as a principal investigator for manatee research conducted at Blue Spring State Park under the auspices of the FWS and the USGS (all activities conducted under permit #MA791721-5). Wayne is Save the Manatee Club’s Manatee Specialist and is assisted by Cora Berchem, SMC’s Director of Multimedia and Manatee Research Associate.

Manatee research conducted at Blue Spring has resulted in a very extensive body of knowledge on the manatee’s life history as well as how they use warm-water habitat. It is one of the longest running databases in existence on manatees.

Learn More About Blue Spring Research

A Look Into the World of Manatee Research
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Tag along on a visit to Gainesville, Florida as Wayne meets with Cathy Beck of the USGS to discuss the MIPS and the Blue Spring manatees included in the database.