Rita and Georgie are adapting well to their new home
This blog was created to allow the public to follow two manatees, Rita and her calf Georgie, as scientists track them after their release back into the wild. Please return for weekly updates.
NOTES FROM THE FIELD – WEEK 2:
At 10 am GPS locations showed that both tagged animals were north of Great Harbour Cay, near Royal Caribbean’s Coco Cay (Little Stirrup Cay). The tracking team set out by boat and was able to locate Rita and Georgie as they traveled around the western end of Coco Cay. For the next two hours, the tracking team directed the passenger transport boats of Coco Cay to ensure that both tagged animals were able to safely explore the area. Seeing the tagged manatees explore the harbour was both a treat for the tourists visiting the island and the staff of Coco Cay! Once Rita and Georgie were both safely out of the harbour, the tracking team then went to survey the area for seagrass beds, manatee food. We found extensive seagrass coverage on southeast end of Coco Cay. It is in this area that the other four manatees of Great Harbour Cay are occasionally seen. From Coco Cay, Rita and Georgie continued to travel towards Great Stirrup Cay and remained in that area for the next two days.
A special thank you to Coco Cay site manager, Michelle McGregor, the boat captains, crew, and the ground staff of Coco Cay for their cooperation in ensuring the safety of these animals!
Rita and Georgie explore Coco Cay harbour; the floating tag housings just visible at the surface, shown by the circle.
After spending the first week after the release in Great Harbour assisting with the tracking, Indira Brown from the Department of Marine Resources headed back to Nassau today. Indira's role has focused on getting the support of local government officials and the police in enforcing existing slow speed laws for boats in Bullock's Harbour. This is critical to reduce the risk of manatees being hit and injured by boat propellors.