FWC researchers have been tracking manatees in Florida’s waterways for much of the past 25 years. A satellite-linked Global Positioning System (GPS) radio-tag is attached to a padded belt around the manatee’s tail via a flexible tether. The GPS-transmitted locations provide a detailed record of the manatee’s movements and habitat use in close to real time. These data are used to answer specific research questions of importance to conservation and management of this endangered species. The new 2016-2017 manatee decal design highlights this research conducted by FWRI. Because the floating GPS radio-tags can look similar to crab trap buoys, tagged manatees are often mistaken for entangled manatees. Although the tagging gear does not harm the manatee, entanglements in fishing gear can cause severe injury or even death. Public reports of these two very different manatee sightings make a difference; please report tagged manatees, entangled manatees or any other injury to FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline (1-888-404-FWCC).
To learn more about manatee radiotelemetry research visit the FWRI Web section and view photos of this research in the new Flickr album:
Dr. Liz Wallace is working closely with partners at the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, Cape Eleuthera Institute and Fisheries Conservation Foundation to study population connectivity between bonefish in Florida, The Bahamas and across the Caribbean. Since this project began, the communications team has teamed up with Liz to share project updates, photos and videos with anglers and the general public using social media and the FWRI website. Angler outreach and education is an important part of this study, and our online efforts aim to inform anglers and encourage them to get involved by collecting bonefish fin clips for ongoing genetics research. The data collected during this study will ultimately benefit the fishery, and our team will continue working with researchers to fulfill their outreach needs for this project.
The following is a sample of posts created by the Communications Office to promote this project.
2015-2016Programs of the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Each year, the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute produces a summary of its programs. The 2015-2016 FWRI Science Programs document provides an overview of our major programs to enhance understanding of the scope and purpose of the technical information we produce. The document also provides budget information, as well as listings of publications and partnerships for the current fiscal year.
You can read this publication online or download a PDF version from our website.
We recently began a new project with our upland habitat research section to highlight their habitat restoration work at various Wildlife Management Areas around the state. Our first habitat restoration feature is an ongoing project at Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area in Osceola County. The Native Groundcover Restoration program began working at this restoration site in 2005, and since then it has transformed from an “improved pasture” with no value as wildlife habitat to a site filled with native plants and groundcover that provide food and cover for many native wildlife species. Our Flickr set breaks down the restoration process, and includes some great photos taken at the Three Lakes site: