Bibliography and Index of the Sirenia and Desmostylia  

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"Carmichael, Ruth H."

Martin, Julien; Edwards, Holly H.; Bled, Florent; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J.; Dupuis, Jérôme A.; Gardner, Beth; Koslovsky, Stacie M.; Aven, Allen M.; Ward-Geiger, Leslie I.; Carmichael, Ruth H.; Fagan, Daniel E.; Ross, Monica A.; Reinert, Thomas R. (detail)
Estimating upper bounds for occupancy and number of manatees in areas potentially affected by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
PLoS ONE 9(3): e91683. 6pp. 1 tab. 2 figs. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091683. Mar. 26, 2014.
–ABSTRACT: The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform created the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history. As part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process, we applied an innovative modeling approach to obtain upper estimates for occupancy and for number of manatees in areas potentially affected by the oil spill. Our data consisted of aerial survey counts in waters of the Florida Panhandle, Alabama and Mississippi. Our method, which uses a Bayesian approach, allows for the propagation of uncertainty associated with estimates from empirical data and from the published literature. We illustrate that it is possible to derive estimates of occupancy rate and upper estimates of the number of manatees present at the time of sampling, even when no manatees were observed in our sampled plots during surveys. We estimated that fewer than 2.4% of potentially affected manatee habitat in our Florida study area may have been occupied by manatees. The upper estimate for the number of manatees present in potentially impacted areas (within our study area) was estimated with our model to be 74 (95% CI 46 to 107). This upper estimate for the number of manatees was conditioned on the upper 95% CI value of the occupancy rate. In other words, based on our estimates, it is highly probable that there were 107 or fewer manatees in our study area during the time of our surveys. Because our analyses apply to habitats considered likely manatee habitats, our inference is restricted to these sites and to the time frame of our surveys. Given that manatees may be hard to see during aerial surveys, it was important to account for imperfect detection. The approach that we described can be useful for determining the best allocation of resources for monitoring and conservation.
Aven, Allen M.; Carmichael, Ruth H.; Ajemian, Matthew J.; Powers, Sean P. (detail)
Addition of passive acoustic telemetry mitigates lost data from satellite-tracked manatees.
Marine & Freshwater Research 66(4): 371-374. 1 tab. 2 figs. DOI: 10.1071/MF14178. Nov. 26, 2014.
–ABSTRACT: Satellite-tracked manatees routinely lose satellite tags or tag functionality, resulting in the loss of valuable data on migration and habitat use patterns. Fortunately, some movement data from these animals remain salvageable because manatees typically retain a peduncle belt containing an acoustic transmitter that can be detected with a submersible hydrophone. We deployed an array of moored datalogging hydrophones at key locations in our study area to detect manatee belt-embedded acoustic transmitters, a technique not typically used to track manatees. Our array was successful in detecting five tagged manatees, and concurrently detected compatible acoustic tags of other estuarine fauna (e.g. Bull Sharks) tagged by local researchers. Moored datalogging hydrophones, therefore, provided a method to mitigate the loss of satellite tags from estuarine megafauna, and enhanced collaborative opportunities with researchers who tagged other species using compatible equipment.
Cloyed, Carl S.; Hieb, Elizabeth E.; Collins, Merri K.; DaCosta, Kayla Page; Carmichael, Ruth H. (detail)
Linking use of ship channels by West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) to seasonal migration and habitat use.
Front. Mar. Sci. 6: 00318. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00318. 5 tabs. 8 figs. + Suppl. material. June 12, 2019.
–ABSTRACT: Research on marine mammal occurrence in ship channels often focuses on large cetaceans in offshore shipping routes, while nearshore research largely addresses small vessel strikes. Marine mammals, such as the West Indian manatee, that reside in or migrate through nearshore areas, have potential to travel through a wide range of channel types, encountering a greater diversity of vessels than previously recognized. We tested the extent and conditions of ship channel use by manatees along the north-central Gulf of Mexico (nGoM) coast by combining data from telemetry-tracked individuals, opportunistic citizen-sourced sightings, and environmental attributes linked to manatee movements. Manatees used both nearshore boat channels (130 and 300 m wide) and open water fairways but used nearshore channels much more frequently, consistent with habitat requirements. Satellite-tracked individuals swam faster and moved more directly in all channel types, indicating use of these channels as migratory and travel corridors. Accordingly, generalized additive models revealed that manatees used channels most often during spring/early summer and fall and at temperatures coincidental with entry to and exit from the nGoM during migration. Manatees also occurred in ship channels when freshwater discharges were low, likely because timing of peak manatee occurrence in the nGoM coincides with seasonally low discharge periods. Expanding shipping activity world-wide is likely to increase interactions between marine mammals and a variety of vessel types, and these effects may be particularly impactful to migratory animals like manatees that use nearshore habitats at the interface of recreational boating and commercial shipping. Linking near- and offshore ship channel use to migration and habitat use will better aid risk-assessment for vessel collision and other shipping related activities for migratory marine species globally.
Hieb, Elizabeth E.; Eniang, Edem A.; Keith-Diagne, Lucy W.; Carmichael, Ruth H. (detail)
Impacts of in-water bridge construction on manatees and implications for other marine megafauna species.
Journal of Wildlife Management 85(4): 674-685. 1 tab. 2 figs. DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.22030
–ABSTRACT: Globally, increasing coastal development requires construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure that affects terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Construction of bridges as part of transportation networks introduces a series of risks to aquatic species near construction zones. We reviewed relevant literature and obtained exemplary case studies to synthesize potential effects of bridge construction on the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), a nearshore megafauna species vulnerable to human activities. Stages of bridge construction including dredging, pile driving, and installation and assembly of bridge components each involve potential direct and indirect effects on manatees. Direct effects such as vessel interactions, entanglement or ingestion, and entrainment may result in acute physical injury or mortality. Indirect effects from construction such as habitat obstruction or degradation and increased noise from construction activities can alter behavior and intraspecies communication and reduce access to essential resources. Some effects of construction may be immediately diffcult to quantify, but cumulative effects through time can result in major habitat and species loss. To prevent large-scale negative effects of construction on manatees and other aquatic species, use and evaluation of itigation strategies should be implemented pre-, during, and post-construction. As the global human population increasingly occupies coastal zones, effective planning of coastal development, including bridge and other in-water construction, will be essential to support conservation and recovery efforts for manatees and other species at risk in these areas.

Daryl P. Domning, Research Associate, Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560, and Laboratory of Evolutionary Biology, Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Howard University, Washington, D.C. 20059.
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