In summer months, they can be found as far west as Texas and as far north as Massachusetts, but summer sightings in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina are more common. From north to south, the river systems that contain manatees include: the Senegal, Saloum, Gambia, Casamance, Cacheu, Mansôa, Geba, Buba, Tombali, Cacine, Kogon, Konkouré, Sierra Leone, Great Scarcies, Little Scarcies, Sherbro, Malem, Waanje, Sewa, Missunado, Cavalla, St. Paul, Morro, St. John, Bandama, Niouniourou, Sassandra, Comoé, Bia, Tano, Volta, Mono, Oueme, Niger, Mekrou, Benue, Cross, Katsena Ala, Bani, Akwayafe, Rio del Rey, Ngosso, Andokat, Mene, Munaya, Wouri, Sanaga, Faro, Chari, Bamaingui, Bahr-Kieta, Logoné, Mitémélé, Gabon, Ogooué, Lovanzi, Kouilou, Congo, Dande, Bengo, and Cuanza. They have rounded, paddle-like tails. The West African manatee is the only sirenian that seems to intentionally consume non-plant material. In addition, African manatees can destroy rice crops by drifting into fields during the rainy season. African_Manatee_area.png ‎ (297 × 333 pixels, file size: 13 KB, MIME type: image/png) File information. [1] African manatees rarely inhabit waters with a temperature below 18°C (64°F). Der Afrikanische Manati (Trichechus senegalensis) ist eine Seekuhart aus der Familie der Rundschwanzseekühe (Trichechidae). While manatees can be observed in Moore’s Creek throughout the … However, meat can form a small part of the diet of some populations. Phase II will focus on furthering the existing research and adjusting legislation and education. During the daytime, the African manatee dozes in shallow (1 to 2 meter deep) water. Because of the work done during this phase, the general public, young children, and experienced scientists alike are receiving better information than ever before as to how to protect the African manatees. The African manatee is not restricted to a certain area, and does not have to rely heavily on only one ecosystem for support. The Amazonian manatee come from the ‘Sirenia’ order and are also known as ‘seacows’. Manatees never leave the water but, like all marine mammals, they must breathe air at the surface. [5], The African manatee is a vulnerable species because of its meat, oil, bones, and skin, which can bring great wealth to poachers. CONSERVATION PROBLEM. Location: West Africa : Colour: Grey/Brown : Length: 3 - 4 m (10 - 13 ft) Weight: Up to 500 Kgs (1,100 lbs) Life Expectancy: Up to 60 Yrs . The manatee is gray in color with small, colorless hairs that cover its body. They tend to travel silently, eat, and be active towards the end of the day and during the nighttime. All three projects are run by African biologists, and we plan to expand their initiatives to other locations. [7] If the African manatee's molars happen to fall out, new molars grow in their place. African manatees that inhabit rivers mostl… Manatees live on the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and the rivers. Both the West Indian and the West African manatees can live in water with various degrees of salinity, from fresh, to brackish, to ocean. Residents of countries such as Mali and Chad depend on the oil of the African manatee to cure ailments such as ear infections, rheumatism, and skin conditions. [12], According to people of western Africa, Maame Water (also spelled Mami Wata), a recurring character in many coastal legends, is a goddess of the sea and a symbol of wealth and beauty. Although African manatees live in both coastal areas and isolated inland areas, genetic evidence suggests no significant differences between the two populations. Keith Diagne, Lucy. [5], Manatees have been found as far as 75 kilometres (47 mi) offshore, where there are shallow coastal flats and calm mangrove creeks filled with seagrass. Manatees are a migratory species. When manatees become tangled in fishing nets, they can damage them. At certain times each year, the Niger River dries up due to the hot temperatures and lack of rain. There are stiff bristles on the lips. English. There are three different species of Manatee living in different locations: The West Indian Manatee, The West African Manatee and The Amazonian Manatee. Lucy Keith Diagne created an African manatee sub-group of the IUCN Sirenian Specialist Group, the first regional subgroup for any manatee species. When the water dries up the manatees are unable to get to other bodies of water.[17]. [6] The percentage of the diet that is composed of non-plant material varies based on location,[1] with manatees living off the coast having a lifetime average of 50% non-plant material. They are more diverse than other manatees due to their ability to survive in salt water, although they do need access to fresh water for drinking purposes. The manatee's flippers, which have nails, are also used to graze other manatees. The West African manatee can be found in the coastal areas of West Africa. The West Indian manatee has some or complete legal protection throughout most of its range, but it is still hunted in some places and is threatened by habitat destruction, collision with boats, and accidental capture in fisheries targeting other species throughout most of its range. Phylogenetics And Feeding Ecology Of The African Manatee, Senghor, Léopold Sédar, "Chants d'ombre" [in] "Selected poems of LEOPOLD SEDAR SENGHOR", CUP Archive, pp. File; File history; File usage on Commons; File usage on other wikis; Metadata; No higher resolution available. The West African Manatee lives on the western side of Africa, on the shores from Senegal to Angola.They also live in some rivers like the Niger River and around Lake Chad.The West Indian Manatee lives in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, and also on the shores of Brazil and Venezuela. File:African Manatee area.png. The head shape is similar to that of the West Indian manatee, but the snout is blunter, and the small eyes stick out more. [11] The West African manatee's appearance is thought to be the result of these currents and species movement. There are three species of these slow, sizable swimmers: the Amazonian, West African and West Indian manatees (the last one is divided into two separate subspecies: Florida manatee and Caribbean manatee). They were also found in the grassy estuaries of big rivers with mangroves and in protected coastal spots with less than 3 metres (10 ft) of water containing both mangroves and marine macrophytes. Calves can swim on their own at birth. Structured data. The African manatee ( Trichechus senegalensis ), also known as the West African manatee or sea cow, is a species of manatee that is mostly herbivorous. There are a lot of ways you could describe a manatee, but Smithsonian.com does a pretty succinct and eloquent job, calling the animals "roly-poly herbivores." The building of dams has led to genetic isolation of some populations. [18], According to Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the African manatee is endangered. Designated as a manatee sanctuary, the Apollo Beach location has a manatee educational center. They are also found living around the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia. Anyone visiting such countries will notice manatee meat being sold on the streets and in marketplaces, but the lack of law enforcement protects the poachers from punishment. Vegetation is then chewed by the manatee's strong molars, which are its only teeth. They are often referred to as the "forgotten" sirenian. [4], African manatees can be found in West African regions: Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. In fact, even getting photos of them is hard. People in countries such as Sierra Leone believe that killing the manatees to reduce the species size lowers the chances of the fishing nets requiring expensive repairs. The African Manatee is mainly found around the Western part of Africa. A Manatee is a large aquatic herbivorous mammal. This range extends between Angola and Senegal. af Hierdie onderwatertuine voorsien ’n wonderlike skouspel vir duikers, wat van aangesig tot aangesig kan kom met skilpaaie en manatees, asook ’n ontsaglike verskeidenheid kleurvolle visse. The percentage of the diet that is composed of non-plant material varies based on location, with manatees living off the coast having a lifetime average of 50% non-plant material. A majority of the African manatee's diet is made up of a variety of flora found above or hanging over the water. When the manatee is born, each jaw has two vestigial incisors, which the manatee loses as it matures. [1], The areas with the highest manatee populations are Guinea-Bissau, the lagoons of Côte d'Ivoire, the southern portions of the Niger River in Nigeria, the Sanaga River in Cameroon, the coastal lagoons in Gabon, and the lower parts of the Congo River. 103, 125, "West African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis)", "African Manatee - Animal Facts and Information", "African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis)", "African Manatee - Manatee Facts and Information", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=African_manatee&oldid=1000523593, Mammals of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 15 January 2021, at 13:17. [3], The African manatee was officially declared a species under the Trichechus senegalensis taxon in 1795 by naturalist Johann Heinrich Friedrich Link. Although they tend to stay in freshwater, theory suggests that, through transoceanic currents, the species reached West Africa during the late Pliocene. Main Characteristics West African Manatees reach lengths between 3 and 4 m (10 - 13 ft) and they weigh up to 500 kgs (1,100 lbs). [12], The sex of an individual African manatee can only be determined by close examination of the manatee's underside. In countries such as Sierra Leone, African manatees migrate upstream when flooding occurs in June and July. Although not a great deal is known about T. senegalensis, it is hypothesized that it is genetically related to the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus). jw2019. This flooding can lower the availability of food for the manatees as well as lower the salinity of waterways. As part of a study completed in Côte d'Ivoire to assess where the majority of African manatees favor living, a sample of African manatees was radio-tagged and tracked. This creates a deep bond between them. These creatures are 13 ft long and can weigh as much as 1,300 lbs. You can even go beneath the waves and see the animals via a special underwater observation area. The Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis) is a species of manatee that lives in the Amazon Basin in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Amazonian manatees are aquatic animals. African manatees inhabit much of the western region of Africa – from Senegal to Angola. Scientists from the Institute of Aquatic Biology of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Wildlife Department in Ghana have concluded that Maame Water is not a sea goddess, but actually the West African manatee. Calves are darker in color when they are very young. During this phase, residents of six African countries (Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Sierra Leone) created a database of previously unknown information about the species (such as population, economic value, and habitat range) by conducting surveys in their countries. It’s surprising that there are any manatees left in Lekki Lagoon, which is located ~63 km east of Africa’s largest city, Lagos, Nigeria (population 21 million!). You won’t find too many of them compiled even from those researchers that are quite fascinated with the African Manatee. Locating manatee populations in Africa. This evolution of the African manatee's diversity may be part of its key attribute to survival. There are three species of manatee in the world and can be found in coastal rivers and waters. [13], Among the Serer people of Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania, the manatee is regarded as sacred and highly respected, because in the Serer creation myth, it is viewed as the guardian of the secrets of the future. Affiliate Disclaimer AnimalCorner.co.uk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. West African manatees are very similar in appearance to West Indian manatees, although they are more slender. A…. From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Note: Manatee Lagoon is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19. Manatees are herbivores; however, they also eat clams, mollusks, and fish found in nets. [3] African manatees are typically extremely slow, moving between 4.8 km and 8.0 km (3 and 5 mi) per hour, although when scared by predators they can travel at speeds of about 32 km (20 mi) per hour. The tracking observed most of the sample in coastal lagoons, mangroves, and other herbaceous growths. Other African countries also contributed reports that broadened the collective knowledge of the African manatee. Manatees are heavily hunted there and with the proximity of so many people, I’m astounded they still survive. The diet of African manatees living in estuaries consists solely of mangrove trees. [5][8][9][10] From the exterior, the African manatee looks very similar to the American manatee; however, the African manatee is different from the Amazonian manatee, which has characteristic white markings on its abdomen. Manatees move up these rivers until they are unable to proceed because of shallow waters or strong waterfalls. Each day, the African manatee eats about four to nine percent of its body weight in wet vegetation. [5], The African manatee's body is widest at the middle, and its tail resembles a paddle. [5][15] They are also very social, spending a majority of their day bonding by touch, verbal communication, and smell. The African manatee's ancestors passed down advantageous migration and food traits. Wählen Sie aus erstklassigen Inhalten zum Thema West African Manatee in … As part of my dissertation research, I have just completed a new genetics study that defines for the first time African manatee populations across their large range (21 countries). Saving the African Manatee's habitat and Lake Ossa's biodiversity. Visitors to Manatee Lagoon can view Florida manatees as these gentle giants huddle in the warm … Due to the large-scale success of Phase I, a Phase II is to be enacted by Wetlands International. Due to fluctuating flow rates and water levels in rivers, some of these permanent lakes serve as refuges for manatees in connecting rivers during the dry season. Many manatees migrate there during the rainy season. image caption Manatees live underwater but breathe air There are about 10,000 manatees along the coast of West Africa, AFP reports, but their numbers are in steep decline. What Is a Manatee, Anyway? However, males tend to be smaller than females. Males take a longer time to mature (about 9 to 10 years) and can rarely fertilize an egg at the age of 2 or 3 years. Finden Sie perfekte Stock-Fotos zum Thema West African Manatee sowie redaktionelle Newsbilder von Getty Images. A majority of the African manatee's diet is made up of a variety of florafound above or hanging over the water. They can be as old as five years before sexual maturity. From November 2004 until December 2007, the West African Manatee Conservation Project completed Phase I. [2][7] When the opportunity to mate with a female is at stake, males will fight with each other by pushing and shoving. The African manatees that surround Sierra Leone enter the rice fields to get the grain and others fed on acorns. Fish and clams are part of the food of the Antilles and African manatees, something that questions the belief that these mammals are fully herbivores. Pregnancy lasts 12 months, and the calf will stay with its mother for up to … Located on Florida’s east coast, Manatee Observation and Educational Center in Fort Pierce is home to abundant wildlife, including the Florida manatee. [1] The West African manatee is the only sirenian that seems to intentionally consume non-plant material. African Manatee Distribution. The park is a fabulous place to bring the whole family as there are plenty of interactive exhibits, nature walks, and chances to learn about indigenous animals. However, algae and other tiny organisms often grow on an African manatee's body, so its body sometimes appears brown or greenish in color. Some are killed accidentally by fishing trawls and in nets which are intended for catching sharks. The African Manatee is the one species that we know the least about. Phase I also allowed for up-close examination of the African manatee's way of life through field work. In some countries, such as Nigeria and Cameroon, African manatees are sold to zoos, aquariums, online as pets, and they are sometimes shipped internationally. [3] African manatees live in groups of 1 to 6. Florida manatees have been know… Conservation of the species is greatly hindered by the lack of basic knowledge about their distribution and habitat needs. [2][3] Microorganisms within the African manatee's large intestine, which measures up to 20 metres or 66 feet in length, aid it in digesting the large quantity and variety of vegetation that it consumes daily. African manatees that inhabit rivers mostly eat the overhanging plants growing on the river banks. Entsua-Mensah explains that the female manatee's breasts create the illusion of a woman-fish. They are grey/brown in colour and they have a sparse scattering of short hair on their body. When males and females mate, it is not monogamous; multiple males will usually mate with one female. [1] There is little data to show if this has any negative long-term effects on the population as a whole. [2][5][7] African manatees measure up to 4.5 m (15 ft) in length, and weigh about 360 kilograms (790 pounds). The African manatee's large forelimbs, or flippers, are used to paddle and to bring food to its mouth. Overlooking the freshwater Moore’s Creek that runs into the saltwater estuary of Indian River Lagoon, visitors will find a boardwalk and observation deck for plenty of unique viewing opportunities. The West African manatee is the least studied large mammal in Africa and faces serious threats from hunting, dams, and other human impacts throughout its range. Related Topics [2] It is the only manatee species to be found in the Old World. Manatees are found in brackish waters to freshwater: in oceans, rivers, lakes, coastal estuaries, reservoirs, lagoons, and bays on the coast. [1], Manatees are herbivores; however, they also eat clams, mollusks, and fish found in nets. Some female African manatees are sexually mature as young as 3 years of age, and they give birth every 3 to 5 years of their estimated 30-year lifespan. The only visible distinction between males and females is the genital openings. CITES states that trade in any species on the list, including the African manatee, is to be carefully monitored and terminated. Manatee Life Cycle: If their habitat is healthy and safe, they can live up to 40 years; but manatees reproduce very slowly. Laws exist to protect the African manatee in every country in which it lives, but these laws are not well enforced. The African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis), also known as the West African manatee, is a species of manatee that inhabits much of the western region of Africa – from Senegal to Angola. By Lucy Keith Diagne, 23rd March 2015 . During Phase II, the information collected in Phase I will be even more widely distributed around the areas in which the African manatee lives. Due to this mass lack of enforcement and minimal education, the African manatee population is being steadily depleted.[5]. The African manatee does not have any hind limbs. 03.02.2020 . The other two distinct species of manatees are found in Brazil and in Africa. [1], Some behaviors of African manatees provoke humans to hunt them. African manatees breed year-round. Within the United States, they are concentrated in Florida in the winter. Captions. They have very few natural predators, two of which are sharks and crocodiles. Jump to navigation Jump to search. It occurs in coastal and estuarine habitats, coastal lagoons and [16], Many of the African manatees that venture up the Niger River starve to death. They are migrational and they will move based on the availability of food and the temperature of the water. They have been seen around the coast of Africa, Nigeria, and down to the Republic of Congo. [1], There are even more threats to the African manatees' habitat and life: urban and agricultural development, increased damming, and increased use of hydroelectric power in the rivers of countries like Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. Habitat and Range: Manatees can be found in shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, and coastal areas particularly where seagrass beds or freshwater vegetation flourish. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. They are known to live only in freshwater areas. However, only West African and West Indian manatees, including our very own Florida manatee, have fingernails. [14], The African manatee is nocturnal. According to Dr. Mamaa Entsua-Mensah, who performs research for CSIR, when female African manatees surface for air, they resemble goddesses. en These underwater gardens provide a wonderful spectacle for divers, who can come face-to-face with turtles and manatees as well as a great variety of colorful fish. When it is time to migrate due to a weather change, manatees will travel in larger groups to find warmer water and food. Manatees shelter in the park during the winter, taking advantage of the warm waters that flow through Homosassa Springs. They have oar-like flippers and often have brown/grey wrinkled skin with whiskers on several parts of their body and snout. Manatee Lagoon – Florida Power & Light Eco-Discovery Center, West Palm Beach . They look almost identical to the West Indian, but they have been barely studied, and not much is known about them. Add this to your Future Florida bucket list! Specifically they are used to make walking sticks and toy spinning tops. It has thin, wrinkled brownish or gray colored skin, with fine hairs scattered over its body and a white chest patch. [1] Thick congestion of boats in waterways may cause the manatees to have deadly run-ins with the vessels. The West African manatee is found extensively along the west African coastline in a number of countries including Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Female African manatees give birth to one calf at a time after about a 13-month pregnancy. Inland lakes where manatees dwell include Lake Volta, the Inner Niger River Delta in Mali, Lake Léré, and Lake de Tréné. Maame Water also flips over canoes and entices their occupants to visit her kingdom. The Amazonian manatee and the dugong do not have fingernails. Amazonian Manatee Characteristics The Amazonian manatees colour is brownish grey and they have […] West African Manatee The West African Manatee (Trichechus senegalensis) is a large aquatic mammal found in coastal and inland wetlands of Western Africa between Mauritania and Angola, and inland as far as Mali, Niger and Chad. [9], The West African manatee is a descendant of trichechids found in coastal South America during the Pliocene Epoch. Lake Ossa in Cameroon is a large wildlife reserve well-known for its important population of African manatee, which is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. (2014). The Amazonian Manatee (Trichechus inunguis) is a species of manatee that lives in the freshwater habitats of the Amazon River and its tributaries. No subspecies of this taxon are known. At several hydroelectric dams including the Kanji dam on the Niger River and the Akosombo dam on the Volta River manatees have been caught and killed in the turbines and intake valves. [1] The African manatee falls under the genus Trichechus with only two other species, the Amazonian manatee and the West Indian manatee, which are also sirenians. It is also an important source of food and income for the 400 local fisher households who live in the area. However, even natural occurrences, such as droughts and tidal changes, can often strand manatees in unsuitable habitats. If it is too cold their body can’t handle the stress so they have to … African Manatees are found in coastal marine and estuarine habitats and in fresh water river systems along the west coast of Africa from the Senegal River south to the Kwanza River in Angola, including areas in Gambia, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, and Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Best 20 Gallon Fish Tank Guide – 2021, The Best Aquarium Vacuum Buyers Guide – 2021, The Best Goldfish Food Buyers Guide – 2021, The Best Aquarium Rock Buyers Guide – 2021. Although the African manatee's social organization is not well understood, research shows the most common and tightly knit bonds are between a mother and her calf. 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