Rapports d’observations de lamantins : 2020 – 2021

Aqua the manatee swimming while her calf nurses from under her flipper
Aqua is one of the adoptees who came in with a calf last season. Here she is with her calf at Blue Spring State Park on February 4, 2021.

By Wayne Hartley, Manatee Specialist, and Cora Berchem, Director of Multimedia & Manatee Research Associate

May 2021:
Blue Spring State Park: Annie (with calf!) on May 16th, Alligator on May 18th, Margarito on May 13th, Phyllis (with calf) on May 3rd. Millie (East Coast adoptee) was seen in May in the Silver River in Florida.

April 15, 2021:
It is about noon, and Gator just went by the webcam with one of our older and larger females.

April 11, 2021:
Just a quick note: two of our recent releases were hanging at the park. We just call them “the girls” as they are always together. Save the Manatee Club adoptee Fusée dropped in and was very happy to see them! The manatee season is over, but occasionally one or two or a group will drop by. They generally just cruise the run and leave. Thanks to Cora, the webcam, and the volunteers for the sightings!

April 6, 2021:
The cold front seems to be over and the river is warming up. It was 70.7° F (21.5° C) this morning, and Cora counted five manatees. Three of them were down by the river and none of them were adoptees. The park opened today for the public to enjoy swimming and paddling again, so manatee season seems to pretty much have come to an end. Our webcams will be playing pre-recorded highlights from now on until the next manatee season starts in November!

April 5, 2021:
The river temp was down to 69.8°F (21°C). We counted eight manatees, and the park staff counted seven. We ID’d seven but none were Save the Manatee Club adoptees. I think the manatees know it is warming up. Forgot to mention yesterday that Mr. Brutus passed the webcam Saturday in the late afternoon. We have seen much more of him this manatee season.

April 3-4, 2021:
Well, the air temperature for the second night in a row dropped into the 40s, but apparently that didn’t impress the manatees or they are still on their way to Blue Spring. On Saturday, the river temperature was at 20° C (68° F) this morning, and both park staff and Cora counted one manatee. It was a juvenile manatee, that we named “Pre” at the beginning of the season after the famous runner Steve Prefontaine. Although a manatee is certainly not a sprinter or track runner, like the real “Pre,” this juvenile is a spunky male, so we thought it fit. After the count was over, Cora saw a couple of manatees in the river, close to the park. Maybe they were heading in and we will see some more tomorrow or Monday.

Roll call was a little better on Sunday. We counted 10 manatees, and the park staff counted 10 manatees. Most were not the same manatees. In the end we saw at least 23 manatees and Phyllis came in with her calf. Seventeen manatees were ID’d. Manatees were out in the river in front of the run and were chasing each other in and out. The river temp was 70.6° F (21.5° C), which was warmer than yesterday and should have kept the manatees out in the river. It makes no sense, but that was what we got. We are eager to see what tomorrow will bring.
April 2, 2021:
I am going to stop predicting the end of the manatee season. Cold has returned, but the river temperature is only down to 69.8° F (21° C), and no manatees have returned yet. Maybe some will be seen during the day on the webcam. It takes awhile for the river to cool and for the manatees to travel back from whereever they have gone off to. We are looking forward to the next few days.

March 26, 2021:
The air temp yesterday was in the 90s. The river temp today was 73.6° F (23° C), and the park staff counted one manatee. I launched the canoe and met folks from Stetson University and the park staff coming down the run as they were removing exotics. I asked if they had seen the manatee, and they had not. I knew the Volusia County Sheriff’s underwater search and rescue team was training and drilling up near the boil, so I turned and went home. I think the manatee season is over.

March 25, 2021:
The river temperature was up to 71.6° F (22° C), and I counted one lone juvenile manatee. The park staff counted seven manatees — they must have all left the spring run right before I started the count, probably going out into the river to feed. No adoptees today. The forecast is predicting high temperatures, so this might be the end of manatee season at Blue Spring. We were happy to see “Schwinn” (aka the “bike tire manatee”) this week. He looked good, besides his horrendous scars that will always stick with him, but we’re happy that he made it through the winter season, and he seems to be doing well, which is a big relief for us and I imagine all of our partners!

March 24, 2021:
River temp was 71° F (21.7° C). We counted 49 manatees and only spotted three more after the count. The Save the Manatee Club adoptees at roll call were Aqua with calf and Rocket. Yesterday, sharp-eyed Cora spotted some fishing line in the run and started to pull it out so the manatees would not eat it or entangle their flippers. Cora soon realized she had a garfish on the other end of the line. I got out my pocket knife and asked for the line, but I did not use the knife. Gar are strong, and when I got it near the canoe, it broke the line. The hook should rust out in time, and the gar will not get caught on something and starve now that the line gone.

March 23, 2021:
Research note: Yesterday we recorded two manatees we could not ID. One we ID’d as Streak (not an adoptee) when we saw more scars today on the recording. As to the other, I went home and began going through scar drawings and referencing photos on any possible candidates. I finally matched it to Hafiz (not an adoptee). Hafiz was in, it seemed, almost every day last season. Now here he was on March 22nd. Further study found Hafiz in a scar drawing on January 1st, so it was not so amazing as I thought. Just a little insight into what the research entails… The river temp today was 71.6° F (22° C). We counted 79 manatees at roll call and ID’d 19 more after roll call for a total of 71 ID’d. For the Save the Manatee Club adoptees, we had Aqua avec veau, Phyllis with calf and Gator. Gator was also with Phyllis. I guess he was worn out from playing with some other manatees on and around and all over a palm log in the run. Cora caught that on the webcam. We are always watching Alligator!

March 22, 2021:
The manatee season is not quite over! The river temp today, after a weekend of cool, was 69.8° F (21° C). We had hope when Cora spotted Lis and some others on the webcam yesterday. Later on the same day, Cora saw Brutus come in and get pushed around by Lily. Good for Lily! Today the park staff counted 35 manatees, and we counted 38. Far more than we expected! Philippe was the only Save the Manatee Club adoptee at roll call, but Cora caught Alligator et Phyllis on the webcam. Tomorrow may be better.

March 18, 2021:
The river was 73.4® F (23® C), but it might have been my thermometer that was a bit off. I don’t think the river temp has dropped since yesterday with a daytime high of 90 degrees F (32.2° C) and overnight low of 62° F (16.6° C). The park staff counted two manatees and three alligators. I counted the same two manatees (Amelia and Irma) and two alligators, one of them headed into the river as I was launching the canoe. Although it looks like it will be a little cooler the next couple of nights, manatee season may be coming to an end at Blue Spring.

March 17, 2021:
The river temp today was 74° F (23.5° C) — definitely warmer than the spring. I expect the girls (Amelia and Irma) will leave us soon. I only had them to count, but the park service found a third manatee. The girls were in the boil as usual, but the park service was removing exotic fish from the run, so I found them three quarters of the way down the run moving ahead of the swimmers who were looking for fish. The park staff and I are both pleased to see them leery of swimmers. When the park opens to swimmers, it should insure the girls stay in the river where they belong until the winter cold.

March 16, 2021:
The river temperature was up to 22° C (71.6° F), so it was almost as warm as the spring. Both the park staff and I counted only two manatees: Amelia and Irma (the ones who we released at the park about a month ago). They were at the spring head — very much to the enjoyment of the visitors who came to see manatees and were disappointed that none were there.

March 15, 2021:
The river temp was up to 70.5° F (22° C). Our manatee count was three, and the park count was two. We see the recent releases Amelia and Irma in the boil every morning, but we know they go out to eat. Perhaps when the river is warmer than the spring they will stop coming in. Then SeaWorld brought another manatee for release. Known at rescue in Blue Spring as “U131/20” (U= unknown or unnamed manatee #131 for the 2020-21 season), she was a very pregnant manatee suffering with cold stress. She came in on January 29th and was rescued on February 1st. Now she is known as Moira-Rose! SeaWorld was assisted by Blue Spring State Park personnel, Volusia County Environmental Management, and Save the Manatee Club.

March 13 & 14, 2021:
It is warming up and the manatees are moving out. On Saturday the river was 20° C (68° F), and on Sunday it had warmed up a bit to 20.5° C (68.9° F). Thirteen manatees were counted on Saturday with seven more coming in after the count was over, and only six were counted on Sunday. None of the manatees were Save the Manatee Club adoptees. The mother manatee who had an unsuccessful birth last week is hanging around still, so we are keeping a close eye on her to make sure she is doing okay. Amelia and Irma, who were released at the park last month, are also still using the spring run, but we are hearing from our partners that they are going out into the river as well, which is a good sign. Hermey, who was released just a day after the girls, visited the park this weekend too. We can easily identify him by a white scar on his back. Ralphie, who was released with Hermey, has no identifying marks, so unfortunately we have lost track of him.

March 12, 2021:
Oddly the river temp was down but so were the manatee numbers. They know it is warming up! The river temp was 66.2° F (19° C). We counted 41 manatees, and the park staff counted 46. I’m sure the park count was better as the juveniles we tried to ID kept us confused on the count. If all you have to do is count, it is easier. The Save the Manatee Club adoptees present were Annie et Fusée.

March 11, 2021:
The manatee numbers are going down. The river temp was 67.1° F (19.5° C). We counted 76 manatees, and the park staff counted 75. We pushed the count as we hoped to find Mandy and calf and commence a rescue. Mandy looked very emaciated recently but was not coming in on a regular basis. We wanted to get the rescue rolling as early as possible, so we rushed by the manatees we saw with out straining to ID them. Still, we ID’d 45 manatees — not bad for a hurried count. Yesterday Cora saw a cow that appeared to have just given birth, and my film confirmed it. She had no calf. Today we found the poor little male calf dead on the bottom of the run. We recovered the calf, and the park service secured it until it could be retrieved for necropsy. Meanwhile, we found Mandy and calf in the boil and called for rescue. We watched the pair for three hours until the rescue crew arrived. It was one of the smoothest rescues I have seen, and mother and calf were soon on the way to treatment. Those participating were Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Volusia County Environmental Management, Blue Spring State Park staff, and Save the Manatee Club. The Save the Manatee Club adoptees in were Una et Fusée! We also received word from Clearwater Marine Aquarium researchers to the north that they were keeping an eye on Brutus. Good to know he is well.

March 10, 2021:
With the river temp at 64.4° F (18° C), we counted 125 manatees, and the park staff counted 128. We ID’d 97. The Save the Manatee Club adoptees were Howie and Annie at roll call. Doc, Paddy Doyle, et Phyllis with calf missed roll call. The manatee season may be winding down. The weather forecasters are offering no more cool weather.

March 9, 2021:
The river was down to 66.2° F (19° C). We counted 147 manatees, and I am sure the wind kept us from seeing many more. The park staff had counted 101 earlier, and I am sure their count was lower because more manatees were constantly coming in. We identified more as I helped Cora clean the above-water camera dome. Our Save the Manatee Club adoptees in were Lucille, Aqua avec veau, Howie, Flash, Floyd, et Annie, who missed roll call. One of the recent releases, Hermie, had his tag removed by Monica Ross of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute. Hermie was tagged to make sure he would know to come back to Blue Spring if it got cold. Having passed that test, his tag could be removed. We hope for even more manatees tomorrow!

March 8, 2021:
Good day! We counted 85 manatees at roll call, and the park staff counted 81. The Save the Manatee Club adoptees in were Howie, Aqua avec veau, et Phyllis with calf. Three of the newly-released manatees were in. This shows they know where to go to stay safe in the cold. Also, a hydrophone project being conducted in the run with the Club’s assistance depends on two of those released manatees. It is nice they have many other manatees to talk to! The river temp was 67° F (19.5° C), and it should be cooler tomorrow. Not only the manatees have been out in the river, but boaters have been out on the river, too. We noted at least five new boat strike wounds, each involving multiple cuts from propellers and the knife blade-like skegs that are in front of the propeller to protect it. Wear polarized glasses for the glare, watch for manatees noses, and manatee “foot prints!” A manatee foot print is formed on the surface as a circular eddy caused by the manatee’s tail moving up and down as they swim. These will be in a straight line, and the manatee will be a short distance in front of the last one that appeared.

March 7, 2021:
It got quite a bit cooler over the weekend, and although it was very windy today, finally some manatees showed up for the count! The river had dropped to 68° F (20° C), and I counted 15 manatees with some more coming in after the count was over. None of them were Save the Manatee adoptees though. The overnight temperatures for the next two days look low again, so that may bring a few more manatees in. After that, the forecast looks warm.

March 5, 2021:
With no manatees and bad weather, we have not blogged. We hoped as it was a bit cool yesterday and last night some might come in, but it didn’t happen. The river temp was 69.8° F (21° C). We hope to see some manatees by Monday as the cool weather will continue for a few days.

March 1 and 2, 2021:
This blog could be the same as for the last day of February, except the river temp is higher. The river was 73° F (23° C) on Monday. The dark river water was in on the surface as it was warmer and lighter than the spring water. As the manatees come in to the spring to be warm, there is no real reason for them to be here now. The count for both Monday and Tuesday was zero. All the manatees are out in the river at the giant salad bar.

February 28, 2021:
The river had come up to 21° C (69.8° F), which was not surprising as air temperatures have been in the 80s during the day. Neither the park nor Save the Manatee Club staff saw any manatees today in the spring. On Saturday, February 27th, the park staff counted four manatees. Although we’ll have some overnight lows in the 50s this coming week, most likely that will not bring many (if any) manatees in.

February 25, 2021:
The river was warmer today: 67.8° F (19.9° C). But we still managed to count 11 manatees at roll call. After roll call, we saw six more. The park staff count was 13. None of the manatees seen were Save the Manatee Club adoptees. Looking ahead at the long-range weather forecast, we may be seeing the winding down of the manatee season at Blue Spring next week.

February 24, 2021:
The river temp was 66.2° F (19° C), which was cooler than yesterday but did not impress many manatees, and none of the SMC adoptees came in. We counted 13 manatees and ID’d 11. We had hoped to rescue another manatee we deemed too thin, but she did not show. We see a manatee that worries us, and we film it. Film and pictures are forwarded to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and they ask us to keep an eye on the manatee or agree a rescue is needed. Then we have to wait for the manatee to come back in. We notify FWC when we see it and hope the personnel and equipment are available for the rescue. So many manatees need help right now that all rescue resources may be committed elsewhere. So we worry and wait and hope she comes in.

February 23, 2021:
The river temp was up to 68.1° F (20.1° C), and we were down to 23 manatees at roll call. Nick was the sole representative of the Save the Manatee Club adoptees. However, the main mission today was the capture of a non-adoptee named Chloe. She was emaciated to the point we were very worried about her. She was in, and we alerted the capture team. We kept an eye on Chloe until the rescue team was able to arrive at the park about two hours later. Chloe was almost in the river by that time. It worked out well as she was very calm (until she was in the boat!) and out of the area where all the logs are — where she usually hangs out — which would have made a capture very difficult. By noon, Chloe was off to rehabilitation at SeaWorld Orlando. Thanks to the staff of Blue Spring State Park, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Volusia County Environmental Management, and our own Save the Manatee Club.

February 22, 2021:
The river warmed a bit last night to 67.6° F (19.7° C), but the count increased to 42 manatees. Annie was the only Save the Manatee Club adoptee we saw. It is very hard to predict how the manatees will react to the weather right now. We have a couple of health problems we are watching. With so few manatees in, it would be a good time to capture them if they come in.

February 21, 2021:
The river temperature had dropped a bit more and was at 66.2° F (19° C) this morning, but it didn’t bring in as many manatees as I had expected. I counted 32 manatees (which was double than yesterday). No Save the Manatee Club adoptees were seen. Ralphie (the tagged manatee we helped release last week) was in the spring run again, so that was good to see.

February 20, 2021:
The air had cooled down quite a bit overnight from a high of 82° F yesterday to a low of 45° F overnight. The river temperature dropped slightly to 68.9° F (20.5° C) and that should bring some manatees in. I counted 15 this morning but none were Save the Manatee adoptees. Ralphie, who we helped release last Tuesday, was in again this morning. He seems to be adapting well and was seen with one of our bigger Blue Spring females on the webcam yesterday afternoon. It’s supposed to stay cool this weekend, so more manatees should be in tomorrow and at the beginning of the week.

February 19, 2021:
The river temp was back up to 71.6° F (22° C). The only manatee in was Ralphie. Not a Save the Manatee Club adoptee he was released here the 16th. Ralphie was leaving as we finished up. Hopefully the rest of the manatees are feeding up for the next cold spell.

February 18, 2021:
It was so warm this morning that I was surprised to see the river temp had dropped. But it was warmer yesterday. Today the river temp was 70° F (21° C). As we got the water temp, four manatees swam into the run! We counted 11 manatees and ID’d 6. None were Save the Manatee Club adoptees.

February 17, 2021:
The river temp was up to 71.6° F (22° C). Our official count was one, but we ended up seeing three manatees. Now of the recent releases: they were up north of us somewhere. No Save the Manatee Club adoptees were in either. Correction: I reversed the info on the two girls released on Monday. Irma was rescued in Julington Creek and Amelia from Grand Canal. I wish I could blame someone else for that, but I did it all by myself! Temperatures may be low enough over the weekend and into next week to bring some manatees in. On the other hand, I have seen the season end in late February.

February 16, 2021:
The river remained at 70° F (21° C) today. Two manatees were in and neither was a Save the Manatee Club adoptee. About noon, three young males were brought to the park for release in the run: Hermie, Gar, and Ralphie. All three had problems with the cold weather recently but could be released after only a brief rehab period.

February 15, 2021:
The river temp was 70° F (21° C). The only manatee present for roll call was a young female named Chloe (not a Save the Manatee Club adoptee). Just after noon she was joined by two three year-olds that had been rescued as orphans. Irma was rescued from Grand Canal, Indian Harbor Beach in Brevard County on March 19, 2017. Amelia was rescued on August 29, 2017, from Julington Creek in St Johns County. They were raised at SeaWorld Orlando and Jacksonville Zoo and released from Jacksonville Zoo. Amelia was restive and made quite a splash as she swam from her stretcher into Blue Spring run!

February 12, 2021:

The warm spell continues with an air temperature high of 85 degrees (29.4° C) yesterday. The river came up to 68° F (20° C), and I only saw one manatee at the head spring. It was not Buckeye, so not the same one that Wayne saw yesterday. We have been watching a small alligator over the past weeks too and got a nice film of him and a manatee the other day. Even the alligator was out in the river today!

February 11, 2021:
I identified 100% of the manatees in today! However the fact that there was only one somewhat detracts from the feat. He is not even a Save the Manatee Club adoptee. His name is Buckeye, and he was a release not too many years ago. The river temp was 67° F (19.5° C). Sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit is the magic number that brings them in at the first of the season, so it is reasonable they would be out in the river looking for food just now. When and if it gets cold, they will be back.

February 10, 2021:
I guessed we would see 15 to 20 manatees. We saw four! The river temp was 65.3° F (18.5° C). In November that would attract many manatees, but after some really cold days it does not impress them much. I hope they are doing well out in the river!

February 9, 2021:
The river temp was up to 65° F (18.5° C). If you notice discrepancies in the temps, we are going through broken thermometers and new ones that need to be calibrated. The manatee count was down to 42, but at least Lis showed up to represent the Save the Manatee Club adoptees! Tomorrow we estimate we will have around 15-20 manatees. When it finally gets cold again, the manatees may come in with new scars, and we will have to ID many all over again. The new scars will have come from boats as the warm weather is good for boating as well as for manatees looking for food. If you are on the waterways, keep a lookout!

February 6, 2021:
The river was still cold at 58.1° F (14.5° C), but the air had warmed up significantly and the manatees were mostly in the lower transects ready to go out and feed! Conditions were great today for counting and IDing with no wind and a glassy, smooth water surface. The high winds and predicted rain shifted into later during the day, which was a plus. I counted 331 manatees, including adoptees Brutus, Annie, Aqua avec veau, Phyllis avec veau, Philip, Lenny, Gator, Howie, Lucille, Lily, Floyd, Doc, Nick, Paddy Doyle, et Moustaches! New manatees are still showing up that we have not previously seen at Blue Spring this season (they are known from previous years), so that’s always exciting.

February 5, 2021:
The river temp was 59° F (15° C). The park staff counted 624 manatees, a new record! We counted 503, but we began later than the park so they had no wind to spoil visibility, and there was no steam off the water today. It also helped the park to be counting from higher up on the boardwalk. With the wind, it was harder for us to get in among the manatees without bumping one and causing a panic. So we often had to say at a distance, and being down low, it was harder to count. The wind for us began a quarter of the way up the run. We had counted 223 by then. Halfway up the run the wind seemed to increase to gale force, and we had counted 420. Just an illustration to show how they are tending to stay in the lower part of the run. We had almost no manatees from the quarter to the halfway point. Then there was at least 50 manatees “plugging” the run. We had to tiptoe the canoe through. We spotted no new arrivals after the roll call was over, but all I wanted to do at that point was to get back to the canoe beach. The Save the Manatee Club adoptees present were Paddy Doyle, Philip, Deep Dent, Moo Shoo, Floyd, Whiskers, Lily, Gator, Phyllis avec veau, Doc, Aqua avec veau, et Una. I am informed Lucille was on the webcam later in the day. Speaking of late, pseudo was in late yesterday with Doc, but after I picked up Doc’s name for the blog I stopped and missed pseudo. On February 3rd, Cora observed six manatees we had not seen this season but had in past seasons. They are still traveling and coming in!

February 4, 2021:
The river temp today was 58.1° F (14.5° C). We counted 471 manatees. The park staff counted 437. How the park staff counted any from the boardwalk with the fog and mist from the water mixing to foil visibility, we could not imagine. Fortunately it was lifting as we started. Adding to the mist, the manatees were stirring up the silt so the water was murky. On our side was the fact that the wind was nonexistent at the start. We ID’d 289 manatees and saw Save the Manatee Club adoptees Brutus, Lucille, Lenny, Paddy Doyle, Moo Shoo, Floyd, Philip, Whiskers, Lily, Gator, Aqua avec veau, Deep Dent, Phyllis avec veau, et Doc. The lack of wind also kept our fingers and ears from freezing.

February 3, 2021:
The river temperature had dropped to 59° F (15° C) today, and 450 manatees were counted. The park staff even counted 514 manatees! The wind had calmed down a bit, but it was still more than ideal for the count as even little ripples in the water make it hard to count and identify the manatees. Yesterday we didn’t do a count due to high winds. Lots of adoptees were in today! Paddy Doyle, Howie, Lucille, Lily, Aqua avec veau, Annie, Brutus, Whiskers, Phyllis avec veau, Moo Shoo, Deep Dent, Doc, Floyd, Una, et Éclair! Manatee Lesley, who we recently helped release, was also in the spring today looking good! She looks like she’s fitting right back in — coming to the spring when it gets cold and going out to feed when it warms up.

February 1, 2021:
The river temperature remained at 62.6° F (17° C), and the park counted 31 manatees this morning. We didn’t get to do a complete count as we helped monitor a cold-stressed manatee. The only Save the Manatee adoptee seen today was Una. Along with our partners from FWC, SeaWorld, Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, Volusia County, and Blue Spring State Park as part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership, we assisted with rescuing the severe cold-stressed female manatee today. It was a challenging rescue due to very high winds, but the team worked together perfectly to make this happen. The manatee was taken to SeaWorld for rehabilitation. We want to extend a big Thank You to everyone who helped! Another cold front is supposed to come in overnight, so more manatees should be in the spring run in the coming days. Hopefully the wind will calm down.

January 31, 2021:
The river temperature had dropped to 62.6° F (17° C), and 165 manatees were counted. The park staff counted 174, so pretty close! The adoptees in today were Nick, Una, Lily, Phyllis with her calf, and Lénny! A large alligator was in the spring run, too. It has been hanging out close to the bank opposite the boardwalk where it seems to have its den. Today it came out though and was “posing” in the vicinity of the manatees. Luckily manatees and alligators co-exist peacefully. We did see it on the above-water webcam the other day too, along with manatee adoptee “Alligator.” Alligator was named after he was seen chasing alligators around a few years ago.

January 29, 2021:
The river temp is on its way back down. The temp was 65.8° F (18.8° C) today. We counted 73 manatees, and many more had come in while we were up the run. The park staff counted 115 manatees, which may be closer to the truth. With the manatees and boaters both having been out in the river enjoying the warm weather, we observed six new boat strikes. None were life threatening. An adult female is in that we do not recognize with a bad case of cold stress. We will monitor. There were 51 manatees ID’d. Aqua greeted us on the way up, and Brutus was waiting at the river when we came back down the run after roll call. They were the only Save the Manatee Club adoptees we saw.

January 28, 2021:
The winds were predicted to be 10 to 15 miles per hour with gusts over 20 miles per hour. I was going to do a roll call anyway, hoping the winds would be later in the day as usual. The winds were up at 6:30 am and I canceled the roll call. Should be a much better one tomorrow with the cool day today and the cooler night to come. The manatees should be back in the run with a good feed in their bellies.

January 27, 2021:
The river temp continued to climb and reached 68.3° F (20.2° C). We counted 12 manatees and only did that well because we counted two that were in the river. We ID’d 13 manatees, but none of them were Save the Manatee Club adoptees. We could ID more than the count because five manatees came in after roll call — all of which could be ID’d and late comers may be ID’d but not counted.

January 26, 2021:

The river temp was up to 66° F (19° C). I counted 16 manatees, and the park counted 12 manatees. Tomorrow should be more of the same! I ID’d six. Nine were unmarked juveniles that could not be ID’d. Juveniles need the warm water more than adults. As I reached the canoe, there was swish, swish over my head, and the three turkeys that had been in the picnic area passed over my head going to the far bank. Long ago one brushed my arm with a wing as it crossed the river near my canoe. No Save the Manatee Club adoptees in today.

January 25, 2021:

Well it did warm up as the weather forecast said it would. The river temp was 66° F (18° C), and we counted 26 manatees. No Save the Manatee Club adoptees were in. With the warm weather, manatees and boats are both enjoying the river. We have observed several new boat strikes. It is sad, but manatees have to endure and carry on with injuries that would put us in hospital for an extended stay.

January 23, 2021:
It was very warm yesterday and overnight and the river showed it — it had warmed up to 64.4° F (18° C), and most of the 98 manatees that were counted were congregated by the river, ready to go out and feed. The adoptees seen were Una, Gator, et Howie. Philip sprinted in from the river after the count was over, apparently wanting to make sure that he was still identified! The forecast for the next week looks unseasonably warm, so there probably won’t be very many manatees.

January 22, 2021:

As I expected, the count was down today. The river was up to 60.8° F (16° C). Our count was 210 manatees with 102 ID’d. The water was like glass, which was perfect for IDing manatees until we launched the canoe. Then the wind came up. The only three Save the Manatee Club adoptees in were Howie, Gator, et Phyllis with calf.

January 21, 2021:
The river temp was 59° F (15° C). We counted 272 manatees. We were happy to see Lesley, the manatee released yesterday, as she was released not into the spring but at a very nearby boat ramp. We knew she would be in, but it was good to see her. The Save the Manatee Club adoptees we saw were Deep Dent, Lily, Lenny, Margarito, Annie, et Alligator. I imagine the count will be lower tomorrow as the weather has warmed.

January 20, 2021:
Cora filmed the release of Lesley while I did the roll call. Lesley has been under treatment at SeaWorld Orlando for about three years for a terrible and infected boat strike. She was released upside down as she refused to stay on her belly. The river temp was 57.5° F (14° C). I counted 380 manatees, but ID’d only 160. The Save the Manatee Club adoptees at roll call were Doc, Paddy Doyle, Aqua avec veau, et Phyllis with calf. Lis et Floyd were seen on the web cam before the count started!

January 19, 2021:

The river temp was 62.6° F (17° C). We counted 376 manatees and ID’d 251. That is a lot of ID’s! The Save the Manatee Club adoptees in were Lucille, Lenny, Margarito, Paddy Doyle, Una, Deep Dent, Floyd, Lily, Merlin, Gator, Phyllis avec veau, et Doc. Rocket, Nick, et Philippe showed up after roll call.

January 18, 2021:
I looked at the weather forecast and it was windy, but I had said I would go so I went. I got to the park and realized it was a holiday. I definitely would have canceled, but I was there so I got on the water. The river temp was 59.5° F (15° C). It should be colder — I do not understand! The manatees know it is cold. I counted 360. I ID’d 123. I would have done better, but the wind finally came up just after I took a break from the roll call to rescue a boy’s jacket that fell in the run. The Save the Manatee Club adoptees that were in were Doc, Margarito, Philip, Deep Dent, Paddy Doyle, Phyllis avec veau, Whiskers, Aqua avec veau, et Rocket. Merlin was seen by a volunteer as I was fighting the wind to get the canoe beached. Manatees are still making their first visits. Ordo and Roos (not adoptees) were in side by side near the mouth of the run. Makes me happy to see the old guys.

January 17, 2021:
The river temperature this morning was 60.8° F (16° C), and I counted 375 manatees. The park staff counted 382, so it was very close. It was extremely foggy to the point where you couldn’t see the opposite bank on the St. John’s River! This happens sometimes but not very often. The adoptees in today were Margarito, Annie, Doc, Paddy Doyle, Merlin, Aqua avec veau, Moo Shoo, Una, Phyllis avec veau, Deep Dent, Whiskers, Lenny, et Floyd!

January 15, 2021:
The canoe basin at the mouth of the run usually has about five or six manatees in it at roll call. Today it looked like 60! When we launched the canoe, the entire bunch went to panic mode! The USGS folks working on the flow meters had the same experience. I guess it was the capture yesterday that has them spooked. The river temp was at 58.8° F (14.9° C). The river, being cold, is heavier than the warm run water, so it goes up the run on the bottom. Instead of being a 100 or more yards up the run, it was not even all the way across the canoe basin. Has me puzzled. We counted 321 manatees in spite of the commotion. The Save the Manatee Club adoptees we saw were Lily, Paddy Doyle, Annie, Una, Deep Dent, Whiskers, Phyllis with calf and Doc.

January 13 – 14, 2021:
Yesterday the river was at 60.8° F (16° C), and we counted 380 manatees. The adoptees in were Lenny, Paddy Doyle, Deep Dent, Rocket, Annie, Floyd, Nick, Moo Shoo, Philip, Phyllis with her calf, and Lucille! Today the river was at 61.7° F (16.5° C) and 397 manatees were counted; however, we did a rather quick count as we had to assist with locating some manatees in need of rescue today. We have been watching one manatee that looks very skinny, but he was very responsive to the rescue team and escaped all efforts to catch him. We assisted our partners from FWC, Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, Volusia County, and Blue Spring State Park with hoop-netting a very small female calf that was not thriving. It was transported to SeaWorld Orlando for rehabilitation. The adoptees seen throughout the day today were Annie, Lily, Lucille, Floyd, Moo Shoo, Paddy Doyle, Una, Howie, Nick, Phyllis avec veau, Dent profonde, et Lénny!

January 12, 2021:
The river temp was 64.5° F (18° C). A third of the way up the run the wind was so bad for visibility and my ability to guide the canoe. I allowed that if it was this bad at the start we would not have started. To add to our troubles, a cormorant diving into the run spooked the manatees again so the water clarity became even worse. One manatee looked like the others had tried to bury him in sand during the panic! Still, we counted 277 manatees compared to the park’s 293. Of those, 122 manatees were ID’d. The Save the Manatee Club adoptees were Phyllis avec veau, Paddy Doyle, Una, Howie, Floyd, Lily, et Philippe. A little incident from yesterday: We were about a quarter of the way up the run when Cora seemed to have spotted an unusual manatee, but her reaction was off. I looked and found we were about six feet from a nine-foot alligator submerged in about a foot and a half of water. He was between a ruined dock (also submerged) and the bank. He did not bother us, and we sure did not bother him, so the count continued.

January 11: 2021:
The manatees were very “spooky” today. They dashed about and stirred up the run at the least provocation. Still, we counted 400 manatees. The river temp was 59° F (15° C). The Save the Manatee Club adoptees present were Lucille, Nick, Margarito, Paddy Doyle, Flash, Doc, Merlin, Floyd, Annie, Whiskers, Lilly, Philip, Gator, Rocket, Howie, et Phyllis with calf. Pretty good attendance! Brutus was reported wandering the springs to our north. Sadly, we also received word that Bay, BS562, was found dead of cold stress at Salt Spring on December 19,  2020. Bay first appeared at Blue Spring in 2008 and was last seen at Blue Spring in 2018. Bay missed the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons but will come no more.

January 10, 2021:
The river had dropped to 59.9° F (15.5 ° C), which was not surprising as the past few nights have been pretty cold! I counted 384 manatees, but there were most likely a lot more. Something stirred them up, and many manatees were swimming around in the lower transects, which made it hard to count them all and identify them. The adoptees in today were Una, Annie, Aqua with calf, Phyllis avec veau, Merlin, Flash, Lily, Lucille, Gator, Lenny, Rocket, Floyd, Whiskers, Doc, Moo Shoo, Paddy Doyle, et Deep Dent! Una seems to be accompanied by a juvenile, which makes me wonder if it might be her calf “Maguna” from last year. Una and Maguna were rescued in February of 2020 and brought to SeaWorld Orlando for rehabilitation after Una had both her flippers severely entangled in fishing line. The pair was successfully released in the late summer, and we would have expected that Maguna would be weaned by now. Since Maguna has no scars, it is impossible to identify her.

January 9, 2021:
The river remained at 62.6° F (17° C), but the air temperature keeps dropping. This morning, 394 manatees were counted. The park staff even counted 418 from the boardwalk and reported that over 100 of them were at the spring head, which seems to be a new record! When I reached the head spring, there were still almost 30 manatees up there. The adoptees seen today were Lily, Annie, Aqua avec son veau, Lenny, Lucille, Whiskers, Una, Doc, Gator, Paddy Doyle, Flash, Floyd, Margarito, Nick, Moo Shoo, et Merlin! Manatee “Sawyer,” who we mentioned in our update the other day, is now back at Blue Spring, which is good news, meaning he did not get stuck at the other site he was visiting!

January 8, 2021
The river remained at 62.6° F (17° C). The number of manatees went down as the air temp was higher for the evening low. We counted 293 manatees. We saw Save the Manatee Club adoptees Whiskers, Paddy Doyle, Moo Shoo, Nick, Merlin, Gator, et Doc. We filmed some question and answer sessions for educational videos, and then Cora did an interview with Channel 13 while I went home.

January 7, 2021:
Late news form yesterday. As Cora reviewed the webcam film, she picked out Aqua in front of the camera! Today the river temp remained at 62° F (17° C). We counted 366 manatees, and the park staff counted 400 manatees. We would have done more except for the birds. Cormorants generally hop off the tree limbs into the water very quietly. This time one about 25 feet away must have landed on a manatee. Manatees (the ones awake) took off in all directions, and we were lucky to remain upright. This was in the mob near the river, and the dashing about and the silt stirred up did cause a decline in the count! Later an anhinga further up the run caused the same thing on a smaller scale. The Save the Manatee Club adoptees were Una, Annie (very pregnant), Aqua, Lily, Moo Shoo, Phyllis avec veau, Alligator, and, with roll call over, we saw pseudo. Cora stayed at the park to work on the cameras and emailed me that Merlin was in.

January 6, 2021:
The river temp was down to 62° F (17° C), and more manatees were in. Cora and I counted 264 manatees. More Save the Manatee Club adoptees were in as well. The 166 manatees ID’d included Una, Annie, Lily, et Phyllis with calf. Manatee numbers seen at Blue Spring as of today this season is 639. This number includes 78 calves.

January 5, 2021:
The river temp remained at 65° F (18.5® C), but the humid cool air got more manatees in today. I counted 190 manatees, and the park staff counted 187 — close enough! Save the Manatee Club adoptees Annie et Una were among the 80 manatees I ID’d today. I watched a cormorant swallow an armored catfish and asked him to tell his friends it was delicious. The armored catfish is a South American import that is doing no good for the environment. Two more old timer manatees came in for their first visit, and it was good to see them. When I got home I ID’d one of my unknown drawings as Nacho, not an adoptee. He came in back on December 8th. Nacho was always a playful manatee and often at the boil. You have to love a manatee named Nacho.

January 4, 2021:
Eighty-one manatees, 47 ID’d, none were Save the Manatee adoptees! The river temp was 65° F (18.5° C). The manatees are out in the river feeding or waiting at the mouth of Blue Spring to go out. A Blue Spring manatee named Sawyer has entered into another warm water area with abundant food at a different spring. Water levels are going down, and if they go low enough he could be trapped there. Researchers, our own Cora Berchem among them, are keeping an eye on him in case human intervention is required. Hopefully he will leave on his own while the water is still deep enough.

December 31, 2020:
The last day of the year! The river temp was up to 63.5° F (17° C). The manatee count was down to 145. Of those, 71 were ID’d. The Save the Manatee Club adoptees present were Margarito et Fusée. I forgot to relate a small incident from yesterday as I was so tired. As we started up the run, a great blue heron was perched on a four-inch in diameter limb sticking out of the water. The heron took exception to our approach and  launched itself with a squawk, causing about a foot of its perch to break off and fall in the water with a splash. The bird was lucky not to be with it. Seconds later there was another splash in almost the same place. Something snakelike was swimming rapidly to shore. It was a squirrel dragging its soaked tail behind it. I am sure it blamed us. It is what squirrels do.

December 30, 2020:
La rivière était revenue à 59° F (15° C). Nous avons dénombré 288 lamantins ainsi que le personnel du parc. Nous avons identifié 170 lamantins. Les adoptés du Save the Manatee Club ont été Aqua, Moo Shoo, Lily, Moustaches, Gator, et Fusée. pseudo et Howie étaient avec la foule tardive.

29 décembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière a finalement baissé aujourd'hui à 59° F (14° C). Mais avec l’arrivée des températures dans les années 80, le nombre de lamantins a diminué. Les lamantins semblent avoir un bon baromètre interne ! J'ai vu 325 lamantins ; le personnel du parc en a vu davantage, mais dans le même stade. Parmi eux, 111 lamantins ont été identifiés. Les adoptés du Save the Manatee Club ont été Howie, Philip, Phyllis avec veau, Alligator, Aqua avec veau, Moustaches, Dent Profonde, et Doc. Merlin a été vu après l'appel, mais étant donné la quantité d'argile que les lamantins avaient remué, il aurait pu être là depuis le début. Aujourd'hui, j'ai sauvé une tong d'une petite fille. Pas aussi amusant que le lamantin en peluche…

26 et 28 décembre 2020 :
Samedi, la température de la rivière est restée à 16°C (60,8°F). Cora a fait l'appel, mais a estimé que sa lecture avait pu être influencée par la température printanière, car l'air s'était considérablement refroidi à 29° F pendant la nuit. Le personnel du parc a dénombré 524 lamantins, et elle en a compté 446, mais elle en a peut-être encore manqué ! Parfois, ils sont plus faciles à voir depuis la promenade et parfois plus facilement depuis le canoë. Pourtant, presque tous les adoptés étaient présents ! Les adoptés vus étaient Nick, Annie, Aqua, Phyllis avec son veau, Philip, Deep Dent, Flash, Merlin, Brutus, Una, Lily, Rocket, Lucille, Doc, Floyd, Gator, Margarito, et Paddy DoyleHowie est arrivé après la fin du décompte.

Lundi, la rivière est restée stable à 60,8° F (16° C). Cora et moi en avons compté 473, et le personnel du parc en a compté 469 – pas mal. Seulement quatre à part ! Nous avons identifié 259 lamantins et vu les adoptés du Save the Manatee Club. Nick, Brutus, Paddy Doyle, Phillip, Lily, Lenny, Margarito, Lucille, Una, Flash, Moo Shoo, Aqua, Rocket, Phyllis avec veau, Moustaches, Doc, Merlin et FloydHowie Il était trop tard pour un nouvel appel ! Les seuls qui manquaient étaient Annie et Dent profonde, et nous pensons qu'ils étaient là il y a deux jours.

25 décembre 2020 :
Le temps est passé d'une température douce de 81 degrés hier à 35 degrés pendant la nuit avec une forte tempête et des vents pendant la nuit. Le vent s'est prolongé jusque tard dans la matinée. La température de la rivière (qui descend toujours un peu plus lentement que l'air) était de 60,8° F (16° C) ce matin et 216 lamantins ont été dénombrés. Le personnel du parc en a dénombré 262, ce qui aurait pu être plus précis. Il y avait peut-être plus de lamantins, mais le vent rendait presque impossible toute observation, surtout dans les transects proches de la rivière. De plus en plus de lamantins ont commencé à arriver, et quand j'ai atteint la source, 53 lamantins étaient entassés là – un spectacle que je n'avais jamais vu auparavant ! Les seuls adoptés vus aujourd'hui étaient Flash, Moo Shoo, et puis Dent profonde une fois le décompte terminé. J'en attends encore beaucoup ce week-end car le temps reste froid. Joyeux Noël et bonnes fêtes à tous !

24 décembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière était encore de 65,3° F (18,5° C) aujourd'hui. Avec beaucoup moins d'argile remuée, nous avons compté 328 lamantins et identifié 167. Les lamantins se rassemblaient près de la rivière alors qu'elle se réchauffait pour sortir manger avant l'arrivée des températures dans les années 30. Nous avons observé les adoptés du Save the Manatee Club Nick, Flash, Lily, Philip, Annie, Moo Shoo, et Fusée. Jusqu’à présent, nous avons vu 559 lamantins et 63 veaux. « En toute tranquillité, traversez les saisons comme le lamantin. » Passez de bonnes et sûres vacances !

23 décembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière était de 65,3°F (18,5°C), mais malgré l'augmentation par rapport à hier, le nombre de lamantins a augmenté. Nous avons dénombré 333 lamantins et le personnel du parc aussi ! On obtient parfois le même décompte, mais 333 ? Le vent n'était pas trop fort, ce qui compensait l'argile que les lamantins remuaient. Nous avons identifié 174 lamantins, dont les adoptés du Save the Manatee Club. Howie, Annie, Moo Shoo, Philip, Lily, Merlin, Rocket, Whiskers, et Paddy Doyle. Le personnel du parc a vu Phyllis avec le veau dirigé vers la rivière tôt le matin pour éviter l'appel.

22 décembre 2020
Sauvetage dramatique de lamantins à Blue Spring ! Cora, aux yeux perçants, a repéré un objet près de la rive est alors que nous descendions la piste après l'appel. Il était accroché à une vigne et flottait haut. Cora a filmé pendant que je manœuvrais le canot pour qu'il se rapproche d'un lamantin aux yeux bleus et pelucheux d'environ huit pouces de long ! Il s’agissait bien sûr d’un lamantin en peluche dont l’étiquette de prix était toujours attachée. J'ai dit que quelqu'un pleurait – soit on leur disait que c'était une leçon de vie, soit ils avaient un autre lamantin. C'était ce dernier. Alors que nous poursuivions notre course avec notre prix dégoulinant, quelqu'un a appelé depuis la promenade. Ils nous ont retrouvés sur la plage du canoë pour récupérer la victime, nous remercier et nous annoncer qu'ils avaient désormais deux lamantins ! La température de la rivière est restée à 62,6° F (17° C). Nous avons dénombré 304 lamantins. Nous avons identifié 147 lamantins et vu les adoptés du Save the Manatee Club. Philippe, Howie, Phyllis avec veau, Una, Annie (j'ai oublié de la mentionner hier), Lis, et Éclair. Au moins six autres anciens ont effectué leur première visite saisonnière. Vingt et un lamantins Blue Spring ont été enregistrés dans les sources voisines. C'est bien de savoir où ils sont et qu'ils vont bien, mais ce n'est pas comme être ici !

21 décembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière aujourd'hui était de 62,5° F (17° C) et nous avons dénombré 341 lamantins. Le décompte était bon dans l'eau claire, mais les lamantins avaient l'extrémité inférieure de la course près de la rivière obscurcie par l'argile limoneuse qu'ils remuaient. Les identifications étaient rendues difficiles par le vent lorsque nous pouvions voir un lamantin. Pourtant, nous avons bien fait. Nous avons identifié 158 des 341 lamantins dénombrés. Parmi eux se trouvaient les adoptés du Save the Manatee Club. Howie, Lily, Brutus, Deep Dent, Phyllis avec veau, et Aqua. Nous avons accueilli au moins quatre anciens pour la première fois cette saison. Ils sont toujours agréables à voir. Hier, Phud (prononcer Pud) est arrivé. J'étais inquiet pour lui. Il était le dernier petit de Phoebe, une adoptée bien-aimée, avant qu'elle ne meure des suites de complications lors du vêlage. Il a 12 ans maintenant, et c'est un lamantin battu (avec des cicatrices), mais vif !

19 décembre 2020 :
La rivière a baissé un peu plus à 59° F (15° C), et 365 lamantins ont été dénombrés. Le personnel du parc en a même dénombré 476, mais quelque chose a effrayé les lamantins à mi-parcours et beaucoup d'entre eux nageaient rapidement, ce qui a rendu plus difficile le comptage et l'identification dans les transects inférieurs. J'ai juste attendu un moment dans le canoë et j'ai essayé de compter et d'identifier tous les lamantins qui m'ont dépassé, mais j'ai le sentiment que beaucoup d'autres m'ont dépassé que je n'ai pas vu pendant que je regardais mon cahier et que j'écrivais. Les adoptés d'aujourd'hui étaient Annie, Nick, Deep Dent, Aqua avec veau, Philip, Lily, Una, Flash, Floyd, Doc, et Phyllis avec son veau. Le veau est une fille ! (Cliquez sur le lien pour voir la photo.)

18 décembre 2020 :
La rivière est tombée à 60,8° F (16° C) et 268 lamantins ont été dénombrés. Le personnel du parc en a dénombré 315, ce qui est peut-être plus précis aujourd'hui. Le vent était juste suffisant pour transformer l'eau en ondulations et pousser le canoë, rendant le comptage et l'identification très difficiles, et de plus en plus de lamantins apparaissaient. Les adoptés SMC aujourd'hui étaient Annie, Brutus, Merlin, Flash, Una, Rocket, et Phyllis with calf. Lis est arrivé après la fin du décompte. Il est fort probable que d’autres lamantins et d’autres adoptés arriveront ce week-end !

17 décembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière était de 67° F (19° C) aujourd’hui. Nous avons dénombré 201 lamantins et 78 d'entre eux ont été identifiés. Les adoptés du Save the Manatee Club présents étaient, encore une fois, seulement Brutus et Philippe. Des jours plus froids arrivent, surtout les deux prochains jours. Cela devrait être intéressant !

16 décembre 2020 :
La rivière est restée à 64,5° F (18° C), mais il y avait plus de lamantins. J'ai compté 154 lamantins et j'en ai identifié 101. Bon vieux Philippe était de retour pour représenter les adoptés du Save the Manatee Club et, à ma grande surprise, Brutus! L'eau trouble n'était pas trop mauvaise pour l'appel, mais c'était difficile à filmer. Nous identifions davantage de nouveaux arrivants et, grâce à notre film, nous trouvons des lamantins nommés parmi les inconnus.

14 et 15 décembre 2020 :
Ce fut un week-end terrible puisque trois lamantins Blue Spring morts ont été retrouvés. L'un d'entre eux n'est jamais arrivé à Blue Spring cette saison, mais il était peut-être en route. J'attendrai plus de détails sur les causes du décès avant d'utiliser leurs noms. Aucun des lamantins récupérés n’était un adopté du Save the Manatee Club. Le 14, la température de la rivière était de 67,8° F (19,9° C). Nous avons dénombré 164 lamantins, dont l'adopté Philip. Le lendemain, la température de la rivière était de 64,5° F (18° C). Nous avons compté 137 lamantins, et Philip était encore une fois le seul adopté par le Save the Manatee Club. Alors que nous aidions à charger l'un des lamantins morts pour le transport, on nous a dit qu'un autre lamantin mort avait été signalé là où l'un des trois premiers avait été trouvé. Bien que triste, c'était un jeune lamantin qui n'était jamais allé à Blue Spring. Pour terminer sur une note plus agréable, alors que nous approchions de l'ébullition, nous avons vu deux cerfs marcher le long de la rive ouest – l'un des avantages du travail.

12 décembre 2020
La température de la rivière était de 59,9° F (15,5°) degrés aujourd'hui, mais l'air se réchauffait, donc beaucoup de lamantins semblaient se diriger vers la rivière pour se nourrir ou rester dans les transects inférieurs (ce qui n'améliorait pas la visibilité). avec le fond remué !). Adopté SMC Merlin a effectué sa première visite de saison ! Nous étions si heureux de le voir ! Les autres adoptés vus aujourd'hui étaient Annie, Philippe, Phyllis avec veau, Moo Shoo, Doc, Paddy Doyle, Floyd, Una, Howie, Margarito, Lily, Lucille, Deep Dent, Whiskers, et Alligator!

11 décembre 2020

La température de la rivière était de 60,8° F (16° C) et 312 lamantins ont été dénombrés. Beaucoup semblaient se diriger vers la rivière car elle se réchauffait un peu. Le parc en comptait 371, j’en ai donc peut-être raté quelques-uns ! L'eau était encore assez agitée. Les adoptés SMC vus aujourd'hui étaient Whiskers, Aqua, Philip, Lenny, Brutus, Paddy Doyle, Lily, Lucille, Deep Dent, Flash, Howie, Gator, Nick, Una, et Doc! C'était Doc’s première visite de la saison, et c'était passionnant de le voir, même s'il n'a que brièvement survolé le canoë de recherche !

10 décembre 2020

La piste reste remplie d'argile remuée par un groupe de lamantins actifs, mais nous avons réussi à compter 400 lamantins alors que le personnel du parc en a dénombré 416. La température de la rivière était de 60° F (15,5° C). La dernière en date des adoptés du Save the Manatee Club est que Lénny est entré ! Maintenant, nous devons attendre Merlin et Doc. Les autres adoptés présents aujourd'hui étaient Moo Shoo, Margarito, Floyd, Brutus, Lily, Rocket, Annie, Flash, Whiskers, Philip, Gator, Paddy Doyle, et Phyllis avec veau. Nous avons maintenant identifié 422 lamantins et 57 sont des veaux !

9 décembre 2020 :

La température de la rivière était de 59° F (15° C) et 362 lamantins ont été dénombrés. D'autres se cachaient peut-être dans l'eau plus sombre et trouble et beaucoup de cabrioles et de jeux se déroulaient plus loin dans la course, ce qui était amusant à regarder, mais rendait difficile le comptage et l'identification corrects des lamantins ! Adoptés SMC Annie, Aqua avec veau, Brutus, Flash, Howie, Paddy Doyle, Philip, Una, Moo Shoo, Lucille, Lily, Gator, Margarito, Whiskers, et Phyllis avec le veau étaient dedans. Phyllis était en ébullition ! Brutus était également très loin sur la piste – il reste généralement plus près de la rivière, mais une fois qu'il a réalisé qu'il y avait des cabrioles, il a décidé de nous rejoindre !

8 décembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière était descendue à 52° F (11° C). Nous avons toujours affaire aux lamantins qui remuent l'argile, et une journée venteuse faisant onduler l'eau n'a pas aidé, mais nous en avons compté 254. Nous en avons identifié 131 et avons vu les adoptés du Save the Manatee Club. Lucille, Philip, Una, Floyd, Whiskers, Annie, Aqua avec veau, Lily, Moo Shoo, Phyllis avec veau, et Alligator.

7 décembre 2020 :

Je crois qu'il y avait plus de 300 lamantins dans la course aujourd'hui, mais il y avait tellement d'argile remuée que nous ne pouvions pas tous les voir. Nous en avons compté 231 et identifié 135, y compris les adoptés du Save the Manatee Club. Gator, Phillip, Floyd, Una, Howie, Whiskers, Aqua avec veau, Annie, et Fusée. Dent profonde est arrivé en retard. On attend toujours de voir Docteur, Lenny, et Merlin. Si vous ne l'avez pas entendu ailleurs, le lamantin coincé dans un pneu de vélo est revenu sans son pneu ! Maintenant, tout ce que nous voulons faire pour lui, c’est nous assurer que les blessures causées par le pneu soient guéries. Quel soulagement de le voir sans le pneu de vélo ! Voici quelques chiffres pour la saison : nous avons identifié 328 lamantins, dont 49 veaux. Cela n’inclut pas les nombreux juvéniles et adultes indemnes et sans cicatrices visibles. Nous avons eu près de 800 lamantins la saison dernière, nous avons donc du chemin à parcourir !

6 décembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière était de 65,3° F (18,5° C) et 264 lamantins ont été dénombrés. Beaucoup se cachaient peut-être dans l’obscurité puisque le personnel du parc en a dénombré 332 ! Adoptés Moo Shoo, Annie, Philip, Deep Dent, Lily, Floyd, Aqua, et Alligator étaient en! Une femelle lamantin nommée Faye, qui a été sauvée l'été dernier suite à des blessures causées par une motomarine et relâchée près de Blue Spring le 15 juillet de cette année, s'est présentée au parc aujourd'hui ! Au cours de sa rééducation, les vétérinaires et le personnel de SeaWorld avaient confirmé qu'elle était enceinte alors qu'elle suivait un traitement pour ses blessures. Aujourd'hui, elle a ramené un petit veau ! C’était réconfortant à voir et montre une fois de plus à quel point les lamantins sont résilients.

4 décembre 2020 :

La température de la rivière était de 64,4° F (18° C) et une fois de plus l'eau était extrêmement agitée. Les lamantins ont encore beaucoup d'énergie car c'est le début de la saison, ce qui rend le comptage et l'identification difficiles. Vous ne voulez certainement pas en franchir accidentellement un que vous ne pouvez pas voir car il remonte à la surface pour respirer et pourrait faire basculer le canot ! J'ai compté 276 lamantins, mais il aurait pu y en avoir davantage. Adoptés SMC Annie, Una, Aqua avec veau, Phyllis avec veau, Howie, Lucille, Paddy Doyle, Gator, Whiskers, Philip, Floyd, et Moo Shoo étaient présents. C'était Howie est Philip, Whisker, et Moo Shoo's première visite de la saison ! Puis avec le décompte, adopté pseudo s'est présenté ! De nombreux autres « anciens » qui ne sont pas des adoptés sont également venus pour la première fois aujourd’hui, ce qui est toujours agréable à voir. C'est aussi agréable de voir que puisque Una a été relâchée dans la nature cet automne, elle n'a détecté aucun nouvel enchevêtrement de lignes de pêche.

3 décembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière atteignait 65° F (18,5° C). Les lamantins s'entassaient. Nous en avons compté 272, et il y en avait d'autres que nous ne pouvions pas voir car les lamantins avaient tellement agité le fond que la visibilité dans les eaux plus profondes était terrible. Nous avons identifié 161 lamantins. Les adoptés du Save the Manatee Club présents étaient Phyllis avec veau, Margarito, Deep Dent, Una, Brutus, Lucille, Lily, Aqua avec veau, Alligator, Flash et Floyd. Alors Paddy Doyle est arrivé après la fin du décompte. C'était si bon de voir Brutus et Éclair le premier grand jour ! De nombreux autres vieux amis sont venus et ne faisaient pas partie du programme d’adoption. C'était bien de revoir certains des lamantins ayant des problèmes de santé de retour et en bonne santé. D’autant plus que nous avons de nouveaux problèmes de santé qui arrivent.

2 décembre 2020 :
Save the Manatee Club a organisé hier une collecte de fonds Giving Tuesday qui a connu un grand succès. Dans ce cadre, Cora et moi avons réalisé une diffusion en direct depuis le parc lors de l'appel des lamantins. Mon rôle s'est terminé à la fin de l'appel à 9 heures du matin. Cora est restée toute la journée. Le merveilleux succès de la collecte de fonds a été assombri lorsque Cora a découvert qu'un lamantin était mort pendant la course pendant la journée. Nous ne connaissons pas la cause du décès pour le moment. Ce n’était pas un adopté du Save the Manatee Club. Aujourd’hui a été beaucoup plus heureux. La température de la rivière est descendue à 17°C et nous avons dénombré 114 lamantins. Il y en avait davantage, mais le vent soufflait toujours et les eaux de la course étaient troubles, donc je suis sûr que nous en avons manqué quelques-uns. Soixante et un lamantins ont été identifiés. Nous avons vu Gator, Una, Phyllis avec veau, et LisLis était en ébullition – quelque chose dont nous ne nous souvenons pas auparavant !

1er décembre 2020 :
Il faisait si froid que ça faisait mal avec le vent qui soufflait. La température de la rivière était de 68° F (20° C) et nous n'avons encore compté que 16 lamantins. Aucun n’était un adopté du Save the Manatee Club. Le vent ondulant l’eau rendait impossible un décompte approprié. Je suis sûr qu'il y en a eu quelques autres qui nous ont manqué. Demain devrait être bien meilleur.

27 novembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière était de 72° F (22° C). Nous avons compté sept lamantins, et le parc en comptait cinq ! Nous avons récupéré quelques nouveaux lamantins, et l’un d’eux semble mériter son nom et son numéro. Une fois le décompte terminé, une vache avec un gros veau est arrivée. Je l'ai identifiée comme étant Carrie que j'ai appelée enceinte le 25 février 2020. Parfois, je comprends bien ! Ce fut donc une journée clairsemée mais bonne en termes de recherche.

26 novembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière était de 69,8° F (21° C) et j'ai compté 21 lamantins. Le personnel du parc en comptait 19, nous étions donc très proches ! Aucun n'était un adopté du Save the Manatee Club – ils doivent passer Thanksgiving dans la rivière et ses affluents, tout en profitant d'un gros repas avant le front froid de la semaine prochaine ! Les lamantins qui se trouvaient dans le parc aujourd'hui étaient pour la plupart en train de gambader/jouer et de remuer le fond, ce qui rendait difficile leur visualisation, et encore moins leur identification. JJ et Molly ont tous deux de très petits veaux qui étaient au début cachés dans l'obscurité, mais j'ai fini par les voir tous les deux.

24-25 novembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière est restée à 70° F (21° C) le 24 novembre. Nous avons compté 17 lamantins, et aucun n’était un adopté du Save the Manatee Club. Nous avons identifié un autre lamantin non numéroté et sans nom de la saison dernière et avons remédié à cette situation. Le 25, la rivière montait d'un degré jusqu'à 21,5°C, c'est donc une surprise que nous ayons compté 32 lamantins contre 17 le 24. Aucun des lamantins observés n’était un adopté du Save the Manatee Club. Cependant, Cora a vu Annie sur la webcam plus tard dans la matinée ! Dans l'après-midi, nous nous sommes réunis avec des chercheurs qui font d'autres printemps, en utilisant Zoom, et avons essayé de retrouver des lamantins qui avaient visité un autre printemps la saison dernière. Nous en avons trouvé huit, que nous considérons comme du bon travail.

23 novembre 2020 :J'ai une température de rivière de 70° F (21° C) aujourd'hui. Il y avait 23 lamantins, mais aucun n’était un adopté du Save the Manatee Club. Je n'ai pas déposé de blog vendredi car je n'étais pas à proximité d'un ordinateur. Lorsque nous avons fini de compter, un jeune lamantin est venu pousser le canoë et a roulé suffisamment pour que nous puissions voir le dessous. Il y avait une grande cicatrice blanche que nous avons reconnue l’année dernière. Nous l'avons nommé Belly. Il pourrait revenir cent fois, et nous ne le saurions pas s'il ne se retournait pas ! Jeudi 19 novembre, nous avons dénombré 29 lamantins, vendredi nous en avons compté 30 et Cora en a dénombré 39 samedi. Cela signifie que le 19 novembre est le premier jour de la saison des lamantins 2020-21 ! Nous lui donnons trois jours pour nous assurer qu’il ne s’agit pas simplement d’un groupe aléatoire comme un troupeau en reproduction. Il ne lui reste plus qu'à rester au frais pendant un moment !

21 novembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière a légèrement augmenté et était de 21,5°C (70,7°F). J'ai compté 39 lamantins. Aucun d'entre eux n'était un adopté du Save the Manatee Club, mais l'adopté Annie est arrivé peu de temps après la fin du décompte. Annie elle a l'air grande, donc nous pensons qu'il y a de fortes chances qu'elle soit enceinte. Annie donne généralement naissance à tous les deux ans pendant les mois d'été et a eu des veaux en 2012, 2014, 2016 et 2018, nous nous attendions donc à ce qu'elle vêle cet été, mais elle n'est pas venue à Blue Spring. Peut-être qu'elle aura un veau au printemps prochain ! Il semble que de nombreux lamantins se dirigeaient vers Blue Spring lorsqu'il faisait froid plus tôt cette semaine et viennent tout juste d'arriver. C'est agréable de voir de nombreux lamantins connus des saisons précédentes.

19 novembre 2020 :La rivière a atteint une température de 71° F (20,5° C). Nous avons vu 29 lamantins et l'un d'eux était Lis! Encore deux jours et je peux considérer que la saison des lamantins a commencé. C'est Tarpon City au printemps. Tarpon vient pour la chaleur de la course ainsi que les lamantins. Je n'avais remarqué aucun tarpon jusqu'à aujourd'hui.

18 novembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière est descendue à 72,5° F (22,5° C) et 14 lamantins ont été dénombrés. Aucun n’était un adopté du Save the Manatee Club, mais quelques lamantins étaient connus des saisons précédentes. JJ était là avec son petit veau, et le veau a été vu en train de la nourrir, donc c'est définitivement le veau de JJ ! Trois lamantins subadultes accompagnaient JJ et son petit, dont Buckeye, un lamantin qui avait été relâché à Blue Spring début 2018. Il est agréable de voir qu'il semble bien s'être adapté à sa vie dans la nature et qu'il apprécie la compagnie de d'autres lamantins. Comme la température de la rivière baisse toujours un peu plus lentement que la température de l’air, nous nous attendons à voir davantage de lamantins au fil de la semaine.

17 novembre 2020 :
La dernière température de notre rivière était de 75° F (24°C). Quelques lamantins sont entrés et sortis. Demain, nous espérons en voir. Ce serait bien de commencer la saison ! Du point de vue de la recherche, nous avons obtenu quelques photos d'un lamantin et d'un veau. Il s'est avéré qu'il s'agissait du S114/19 de la saison dernière. Le S signifiait que je n'étais pas sûr que ses cicatrices guériraient comme quelque chose que nous pourrions reconnaître cette saison. Nous ne savions même pas que c'était une femme. C'est agréable de la revoir et de lui donner un nom et un numéro Blue Spring. J'ai choisi S114/19 comme lamantin à dessiner à la fin de la feuille de cicatrices pour cette saison. Cela a facilité son identification.

13 novembre 2020 :
Ça fait longtemps, pas de blog. La semaine a été chaude, pluvieuse, venteuse et ouragan/tempête tropicale Eta. Le temps frais n'arrive pas aussi tôt que prévu, mais la semaine prochaine devrait enfin amener quelques lamantins. Seuls quelques lamantins par jour ont été vus par ceux qui bravent le temps.

6 novembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière atteignait 23°C (73,4°F) et j'ai compté neuf lamantins. Aucun n’était adopté par le Save the Manatee Club, mais JJ était de retour avec son petit veau. Le bénévole Manatee Observer a vu le veau allaiter, donc je suis presque sûr que le veau est celui de JJ. Le couple était également accompagné de deux lamantins juvéniles. Les gens demandent souvent si les juvéniles sont des veaux des années précédentes. C'est difficile à dire, mais les juvéniles ont tendance à fréquenter les couples vache/veau et à essayer de téter de manière opportuniste auprès de leur mère, même s'ils n'en ont vraiment pas besoin. Certaines mères tolèrent cela plus que d’autres. Ces derniers jours, Mata Hari était là avec son petit. Le veau doit être né au printemps puisque le couple a été vu au parc à plusieurs reprises au cours de l'été de cette année. Plus récemment, le couple a été vu tout en haut du parc d'État de Wekiva Springs et quelques semaines plus tard près de Katie's Landing, dans le parc d'État de Lower Wekiva River. Nous sommes heureux qu'ils soient rentrés sains et saufs à Blue Spring. La petite femelle a déjà une cicatrice causée par un impact de bateau sur sa queue, nous devrions donc pouvoir la suivre. Les prévisions pour les prochains jours s'annoncent plutôt chaudes, donc les lamantins vont probablement tous retourner dans la rivière.

5 novembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière est restée la même, même avec la journée chaude d'hier, et nous avions 25 lamantins pour le décompte. Il n’y avait aucun adopté aujourd’hui. J'ai vu le plus petit lamantin que j'ai jamais vu avec un enchevêtrement de nageoires. Nous avons vu une femelle nommée JJ sans petit, puis le reste du décompte, nous avons vu JJ avec un petit petit qui la suivait partout. Nous aimerions le voir allaiter pour être sûr qu'il s'agit bien de JJ.

4 novembre 2020 :
La température de la rivière a continué de baisser jusqu'à 70° F (21° C). Aujourd'hui, il y avait 18 lamantins. Annie était là sans veau. Elle est allée directement à ébullition. Un autre lamantin, EC023, était présent. EC signifie côte est. D’après son faible numéro, vous pouvez voir qu’il existe depuis un certain temps. Nous l'avons vu pour la première fois la saison dernière. Je l'ai nommé Pascal et lui ai donné un numéro Blue Spring, BS1120. Pascal n'a presque pas de queue, et son côté droit est presque blanc à cause de toutes les grandes cicatrices qu'il porte. Il est encore prévu qu'il se réchauffe, nous verrons donc.

3 novembre 2020 :
La rivière est descendue à 24°C et nous avons compté 10 lamantins à l'appel. Aucun adopté, mais l'une de nos versions problématiques était là et avait l'air très bien. Son nom est Buckeye et après sa première libération, il a dû être repris pour suivre une formation de rattrapage avant d'être relâché à nouveau. Nous savions qu’il allait bien en mars dernier, mais ça fait du bien de le voir. Cora vient de m'envoyer des photos montrant des cicatrices que nous ne pouvions pas voir depuis le canoë sur un lamantin que nous pensions intact. C'est Chloé. Nous avons identifié huit des 11 lamantins que nous avons vus. Un lamantin a tardé à porter le total à 11, mais le décompte officiel reste à 10. Maintenant, il va faire à nouveau plus chaud.

2 novembre 2020 :
Le temps a été plus frais, dans les années 80 plutôt que dans les années 90, nous avons donc décidé de faire un appel aujourd'hui. Hier, il faisait beaucoup plus chaud que prévu initialement, mais sentant qu'une répétition pour la nouvelle saison serait bien, nous avons persévéré même si les vents étaient plutôt forts. En arrivant au parc, Cora, directrice du multimédia et associée à la recherche sur les lamantins du Save the Manatee Club, et moi-même avons été informés pour la première fois que Floyd a été aperçu hier par les Manatee Observers ! Plusieurs autres lamantins ont été vus en fuite hier, comme l'ont capté la webcam, qui est presque prête à être diffusée aux heures de grande écoute. Nous avons constaté que la température de la rivière était de 75° F (24° C). Nous avons lutté contre le vent jusqu'à ce que nous atteignions presque la source où nous avons trouvé deux lamantins. C'étaient Peaches, fils de Géorgie, et Mel, mais pas d'adoptés. Le canoë étant presque arrivé à la plage, nous avons trouvé O'Neil. Il a été libéré l'année dernière. Nous tenterons à nouveau un appel demain car la journée s'annonce fraîche.


Wayne Hartley est un spécialiste des lamantins pour le Save the Manatee Club. Avant de rejoindre le club, il a été Park Ranger puis spécialiste du service des parcs au sein du Florida Park Service. Wayne a servi pendant plus de trois décennies en tant qu'enquêteur principal pour la recherche sur les lamantins menée au parc d'État de Blue Spring.

Nouvelles plus récentes

Wayne Hartley, Manatee Specialist, and Cora Berchem, Director of Multimedia and Manatee Research Associate, take "roll call" on a cold winter morning at Blue Spring State Park. Photo courtesy David Schrichte.

Blog d'observation des lamantins

La température de la rivière était à peu près la même que celle du printemps, soit 71,9°F (22,2°C). J'ai compté 7 lamantins, dont aucun n'était adopté et ils traînaient tous dans le bassin du canoë au bord de la rivière. Nous n'avons fait aucun décompte hier et mercredi, mais l'adoptée Annie a fait une visite rapide mercredi et a été vue sur la webcam. 

Rocket is always a bit shy and likes to take off when he sees the research canoe. He arrived for the season on December 21!

Rapports d’observations de lamantins : 2022 – 2023

Obtenez les rapports d'observation de lamantins de nos chercheurs de Blue Spring pour la saison hivernale 2022-2023.

Howie first showed up on November 8, 2021. His visits have been consistent with the chillier weather. Here he is on January 5, 2022.

Rapports d’observations de lamantins : 2021 – 2022

Obtenez les rapports d'observation de lamantins de nos chercheurs de Blue Spring pour la saison hivernale 2021-2022.