Several Coastal Adoptee Sightings This Winter Season

Vector in Tampa Bay. Photo courtesy of FWC.
Vector in Tampa Bay. Photo courtesy of FWC.

By Cora Berchem, Director of Multimedia and Manatee Research Associate

After not being able to report much on our coastal adoptees these last several months, a few made some appearances this winter! Not all photo-ID data has been processed yet, so there is a good chance we will receive more sighting updates by the next newsletter.

Adoptee Vector was seen by our partners from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on December 4, in Tampa Bay. The other west coast adoptees Elsie, Flicker, Ginger and Jemp have remained elusive so far.

Millie’s projected path from Silver Springs to Fort Lauderdale mapped out.

On the east coast, adoptee Illusion was seen by the FWC photo-ID team in early January in Stuart, which was exciting news after we had not received any sighting reports on her in quite some time! Chessie has not been spotted again yet. Although there were a few reports of manatees in the Carolinas and even Virginia in the late fall, photo-ID data confirmed none of them were Chessie. Zelda was seen in Summerland Key in December by a citizen in a residential canal. Zelda has significant scars and is usually seen in the clear water of the Florida Keys, making it easier to ID her than other coastal adoptees who usually reside in more turbid, dark water. Adoptee Millie made quite a few visits to Blue Spring in November and December and was then seen further north in the Silver River by our partners from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute. A known traveler, Millie then astonished us all when she was sighted more than 400 miles away in Fort Lauderdale by researchers from FWC in mid-January!

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