Manatees have been around for millions of years, and on Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) projects, they're getting the help they need with just a little training. The large, gentle herbivores are federally protected under both the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Finding the slow-moving animals in the turbid waters of coastal Georgia isn't always easy, especially since manatees can stay underwater for several minutes, but GDOT personnel are getting clues on how to spot manatees in a short course taught by Georgia Department of Natural Resources staff. They also learn facts about the manatee's biology and natural history (for example, the manatee's unique ability among mammals to continuously replace its six teeth)...current threats to the species' survival (for example, motorized watercraft and loss of reliable warm-water habitat)...and signage and other relevant provisions in the construction contract.
--Mar 23, 2009
|A female manatee plays with her baby underwater.|