Bibliography and Index of the Sirenia and Desmostylia  

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"Morales-Vela, Benjam"

Morales-Vela, Benjamín: SEE ALSO Axis-Arroyo et al., 1998; Garcia-Rodriguez et al., 1998. (detail)
Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Olivera-Gómez, León David (detail)
Mamíferos acuáticos. In: T. Camarena-Luhrs & S. Salazar-Vallejo (eds.), Estudios ecológicos preliminares de la zona sur de Quintana Roo.
Chetumal (Mexico), Centro de Investigaciones de Quintana Roo: 172-185. Figs. 27-29. Sept. 1991.
Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Olivera-Gómez, León David (detail)
De sirenas a manatíes.
Chetumal (Mexico), Centro de Investigaciones de Quintana Roo (Cuaderno de Divulgación 4): 1-30. 17 figs. Nov. 1992.
Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Olivera-Gómez, León David (detail)
Distribución espacial y estimación poblacional de los manatíes en la Bahia de Chetumal, Quintana Roo, México.
Revista de Investigación Científica 2 (Número Especial SOMEMMA 1): 27-34.
Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Olivera-Gómez, León David (detail)
Distribución del manatí (Trichechus manatus) en la costa norte y centro-norte del Estado de Quintana Roo, México.
An. Inst. Biol. Univ. Nac. Autón. México, Ser. Zool. 68(1): 153-164. 1 tab. 3 figs.
–Engl. summ.
Axis-Arroyo, Javier; Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Torruco-Gómez, Daniel; Vega-Cendejas, María Eugenia (detail)
Variables asociadas con el uso de hábitat del manatí del Caribe (Trichechus manatus), en Quintana Roo, México (Mammalia).
Rev. Biol. Trop. 46(3): 791-803. 7 tabs. 2 figs. Sept. 1998.
–Engl. summ. Statistical analysis of meteorological and ecological variables showed that manatee distribution in Chetumal Bay was most influenced by wind intensity and food availability, less so by salinity, water depth, and group structure, and least by cloudiness and air and water temperature.
Garcia-Rodriguez, Angela I.; Bowen, B. W.; Domning, Daryl Paul; Mignucci Giannoni, Antonio A.; Marmontel, Miriam; Montoya Ospina, Ruby A.; Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Rudin, M.; Bonde, Robert K.; McGuire, Peter M. (detail)
Phylogeography of the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus): how many populations and how many taxa?
Molecular Ecology 7(9): 1137-1149. 6 tabs. 2 figs. + cover photo. Sept. 1998.
Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Olivera-Gómez, León David; Reynolds, John E., III; Rathbun, Galen B. (detail)
Distribution and habitat use by manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) in Belize and Chetumal Bay, Mexico.
Biol. Conserv. 95(1): 67-75. 3 tabs. 3 figs. "Aug. 2000" (publ. July 2000).
Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Padilla-Saldívar, Janneth A. (detail)
Los manatíes en Quintana Roo. Ecofronteras.
Gaceta ECOSUR 14: 7-9.
Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Padilla-Saldívar, Janneth A.; Mignucci-Giannoni, Antonio A. (detail)
Status of the manatee (Trichechus manatus) along the northern and western coasts of the Yucatán Peninsula, México.
Carib. Jour. Sci. 39(1): 42-49. 2 tabs. 1 fig.
Vianna, Juliana A.; Bonde, Robert K.; Caballero, Susana; Giraldo, Juan Pablo; Pinto de Lima, Régis; Clark, Annmarie; Marmontel, Miriam; Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Souza, Maria José de; Parr, Leslee; Rodríguez-Lopez, Marta A.; Mignucci-Giannoni, Antonio A.; Powell, James Arthur, Jr.; Santos, Fabrício R. (detail)
Phylogeography, phylogeny and hybridization in trichechid sirenians: implications for manatee conservation.
Molec. Ecol. 15: 433-447. 4 tabs. 4 figs.
Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Suarez-Morales, E.; Padilla-Saldivar, Janneth A.; Heard, R. W. (detail)
The tanaid Hexapleomera robusta (Crustacea: Peracarida) from the Caribbean manatee, with comments on other crustacean epibionts.
Jour. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K. 88(3): 591-596.
Tripp, Kathleen M.; Verstegen, John P.; Deutsch, Charles J.; Bonde, Robert K.; Rodriguez, M.; Morales-Vela, Benjamin; Schmitt, D. L.; Harr, Kendal E. (detail)
Validation of a serum immunoassay to measure progesterone and diagnose pregnancy in the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus).
Theriogenology 70(7): 1030-1040.
Castelblanco-Martínez, Delma Nataly; Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Hernández-Arana, H. A.; Padilla-Saldivar, Janneth A. (detail)
Diet of manatees Trichechus manatus manatus in Chetumal Bay, Mexico.
Latin Amer. Jour. Aquatic Mamms. 7(1-2): 39-46.
Hénaut, Yann; Becerra-López, Sylvia P.; Machkour-M'Rabet, Salima; Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Winterton, Peter; Delfour, Fabienne (detail)
Activities and social interactions in captive Antillean manatees in Mexico.
Mammalia 74(2): 141-146.
Suárez-Morales, Eduardo; Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Padilla-Saldívar, Janneth A.; Silva-Briano, Marcelo (detail)
The copepod Balaenophilus manatorum (Ortíz, Lalana and Torres, 1992) (Harpacticoida), an epibiont of the Caribbean manatee.
Journal of Natural History 44(13-14): 847-859. 1 tab. 6 figs. DOI:10.1080/00222931003615711. April 2010.
–ABSTRACT: The harpacticoid copepod Balaenophilus manatorum (Ortíz, Lalana and Torres, 1992) was originally described based on a few specimens collected from a single manatee in Cuba. Since its description it has been recorded exclusively as a symbiont of sea turtles worldwide; there were no further records of this species from the manatee and this association remained unconfirmed. During a long-term survey on the biology and ecology of the manatee Trichechus manatus manatus L. in Mexican waters of the western Caribbean, epibionts were collected from 54 individuals, including males, females and juveniles. Many specimens of B. manatorum were recorded from several manatees and analysed morphologically; a comparison is made with specimens from turtles of the Mexican Pacific. Manatees captured in two different bay systems were examined, but only those from Chetumal Bay were positive for copepods. Infestation comprised 14 manatees (26%), eight females and six males; incidence was higher than that previously found for other crustacean epibionts. Copepods were found as soft yellowish masses arranged along skin folds and wrinkles of the muzzle, the base of the fins, and the nipple area; there was no evidence of skin damage caused by the copepod. The presence of B. manatorum on manatees is confirmed and the first data are provided on the prevalence of this epibiont in one of the main populations of this mammal in the western Caribbean.
Nourisson, Coralie; Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Padilla-Saldívar, Janneth A.; Pause Tucker, Kimberly C.; Clark, AnnMarie; Olivera-Gómez, Leon David; Bonde, Robert K.; McGuire, Peter M. (detail)
Evidence of two genetic clusters of manatees with low genetic diversity in Mexico and implications for their conservation.
Genetica 139: 833-842. 3 tabs. 3 figs. DOI 10.1007/s10709-011-9583-z.
Adimey, N. M.; Mignucci-Giannoni, A. A.; Auil Gomez, N.; da Silva, Vera M. F.; Alvite, Carolina Mattosinho de Carvalho; Morales-Vela, Benjamin; de Lima, Regis Pinto; Rosas, Fernando C. Weber (detail)
Manatee rescue, rehabilitation, and release efforts as a tool for species conservation. Chap. 23 in: E. M. Hines et al. (eds.), Sirenian conservation: issues and strategies in developing countries (q.v.).
Gainesville, University Press of Florida (xiv + 326): 204-217. 1 tab. 7 figs.
Castelblanco-Martínez, Delma Nataly; Barba, Everardo; Schmitter-Soto, Juan Jacobo; Hernández-Arana, Héctor Abuid; Morales-Vela, Benjamín (detail)
The trophic role of the endangered Caribbean manatee Trichechus manatus in an estuary with low abundance of seagrass.
Estuaries and Coasts 35(1): 60-77. 4 tabs. 4 figs. DOI 10.1007/s12237-011-9420-8. Jan. 2012 (publ. online June 11, 2011).
Castelblanco-Martínez, Delma Nataly; Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Padilla-Saldivar, Janneth A. (detail)
Using craniometrical predictors to infer body size of Antillean manatees.
Mammalia 78(1): 109-115. DOI:10.1515/mammalia-2012-0136
–ABSTRACT: Body size determines many physiological and ecological variables; however, there are few studies on this parameter for the Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus). We studied an osteological collection and databases of Antillean manatees in Mexico to infer body measurements and to determine the body mass (BM)/body length (BL) relationship. The studied sample included 165 specimens: skulls (n=60), necropsies (n=51), and individuals captured for health assessment purposes (n=54). Specific regression equations for estimating BM were derived using the following craniometrical parameters: condylobasal length (BSL), occipital condyle width (OCW), and foramen magnum width (FMW). OCW and FMW were not significantly correlated with BL. The equation of the fitted model was BL=-121.644+10.8861×BSL (p<0.05, r2=0.93, SE=14.72). The allometric equation of weight/length relationship was defined as BM=exp (2.7477+0.0110957×BL) (p<0.05, r2=0.99, SE=0.07). The model showed a significant relationship between BL and BSL (>95%). Regression equations proved to be useful in estimating BL when only highly decomposed carcasses or skull dry bones are available, and in estimating weight when it is impossible to do it directly. Studies on biology history and age determination in T. m. manatus are required in order to establish an adequate age classification.
Castelblanco-Martínez, Delma Nataly; Padilla-Sáldivar, Janneth A.; Hernández-Arana, Héctor Abuid; Slone, D. H.; Reid, James P.; Morales-Vela, Benjamín (detail)
Movement patterns of Antillean manatees in Chetumal Bay (Mexico) and coastal Belize: A challenge for regional conservation.
Mar. Mamm. Sci. 29(2): E166-E182. 3 tabs. 5 figs. DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2012.00602.x Apr. 2013 (publ. online Sept. 17, 2012).
–ABSTRACT: Information from 15 satellite-tracked Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) was analyzed in order to assess individual movements, home ranges, and high-use areas for conservation decisions. Manatees were captured in Chetumal Bay, Mexico, and tagged with Argos-monitored satellite transmitters. Location of the manatees and physical characteristics were assessed to describe habitat properties. Most manatees traveled to freshwater sources. The Maximum Area Size (MAS) for each manatee was determined using the observation-area method. Additional kernel densities of 95% home range and 50% Center of Activity (COA) were also calculated, with manatees having 1–3 COAs. Manatees exhibited two different movement patterns: remaining in Chetumal Bay, and long-distance (up to 240 km in 89 d). The residence time in Chetumal Bay was higher for females (89.6% of time) than for males (72.0%), but the daily travel rate (0.4–0.5 km/d) was similar for both sexes. Most of the COAs fell within Natural Protected Areas (NPA). However, manatees also travel for long distances into unprotected areas, where they face uncontrolled boat traffic, fishing activities, and habitat loss. Conservation of movement corridors may promote long-distance movements and facilitate genetic exchange.
Marmontel, Miriam; Reid, James; Sheppard, James K.; Morales-Vela, Benjamin (detail)
Tagging and movements of sirenians. Chap. 13 in: E. M. Hines et al. (eds.), Sirenian conservation: issues and strategies in developing countries (q.v.).
Gainesville, University Press of Florida (xiv + 326): 116-125. 1 tab. 4 figs.
Marsh, Helene D.; Morales-Vela, Benjamín (detail)
Guidelines for developing protected areas for sirenians. Chap. 25 in: E. M. Hines et al. (eds.), Sirenian conservation: issues and strategies in developing countries (q.v.).
Gainesville, University Press of Florida (xiv + 326): 228-234. 1 tab.
Reynolds, John E., III; Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Lawler, Ivan; Edwards, Holly H. (detail)
Utility and design of aerial surveys for sirenians. Chap. 21 in: E. M. Hines et al. (eds.), Sirenian conservation: issues and strategies in developing countries (q.v.).
Gainesville, University Press of Florida (xiv + 326): 186-195. 1 tab. 5 figs.
Flores-Cascante, Lavinia; Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Castelblanco-Martínez, Delma Nataly; Padilla-Saldívar, Janneth; Auil, Nicole (detail)
Diet items of manatee Trichechus manatus manatus in three priority sites for the species in Mexico and Belize.
Revista Ciencias Marinas y Costeras 5: 25-36. 3 tabs. 2 figs. Dec. 2013.
–ABSTRACT: Manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) are herbivorous mammals with opportunistic habits that feed on approximately 60 species of plants. The focus of this paper was to identify diet elements of the manatee by fecal analysis in two sites in Mexico (Jonuta, Tabasco and Bahía de la Ascensión, Quintana Roo) and one site in Belize (Southern Lagoon). Samples were obtained from wild manatees and captive manatees temporarily captured for health assessment and sampling during 2004-2006. A total of 24 samples were analyzed. Diet components were assessed by microhistological analysis of feces. Items were separated and compared with bibliography and histological collections. Samples were also analyzed to detect invertebrates. Vegetal species found included Thalassia testudinum, Rhizophora mangle, Halodule wrightii, Ruppia sp. and Panicum sp., the latter confirmed for the first time for Mexico. No evidence of invertebrates was found in the samples. Relative importance of vegetal species consumed by manatees coincides with the findings reported for other areas in the Americas. Further systematic sampling efforts are needed in areaswhere manatee diet items are unknown.
Montserrat Landero, M.; Liceaga-Correa, Maria de Los Ángeles; Morales-Vela, Benjamín (detail)
Ecological distribution of manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) in Bahía de la Ascensión, Mexico.
Mar. Mamm. Sci. 30(4): 1581-1588. 4 figs. DOI:10.1111/mms.12127. Oct. 2014 (publ. online Apr. 2, 2014).
Castelblanco-Martínez, Delma Nataly; Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Slone, D. H.; Padilla-Saldivar, Janneth A.; Reid, James P.; Hernández-Arana, H. A. (detail)
Inferring spatial and temporal behavioral patterns of free-ranging manatees using saltwater sensors of telemetry tags.
Mammalian Biology - Zs. f. Säugetierk. 80: 21-30.
Romero-Calderon, Ana G.; Morales-Vela, Benjamin; Rosiles-Martinez, Rene; Olivera-Gomez, Leon David; Delgado-Estrella, Alberto (detail)
Metals in bone tissue of Antillean manatees from the Gulf of Mexico and Chetumal Bay, Mexico.
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology 96(1): 9-14. 2 tabs. 1 fig. DOI: 10.1007/s00128-015-1674-6. Jan. 2016.
–ABSTRACT: Concentrations of seven metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, and Zn) were analyzed in 33 bone tissue samples of Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) found dead in lagoons and rivers of Tabasco and Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico and Chetumal Bay in the Caribbean region. The concentrations of Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn were significantly different between regions, with greater levels found in the Gulf of Mexico group than in the Mexican Caribbean group (p < 0.05). Pb concentrations differed significantly between adults and calves. No differences were observed between sexes. Metal concentrations detected in the manatee bones were higher than most of those reported for bones in other marine mammals around the world. Future studies are necessary to establish whether the metal concentrations represent a risk to the health of the species.
Hénaut, Yann; Lara-Sánchez, Lisbeth Esmeralda; Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Machkour-M'Rabet, Salima (detail)
Learning capacities and welfare in an Antillean manatee, Trichechus manatus manatus.
Comptes Rendus, Biologies 343(1): 73-87. 4 figs. 4 tabs. + supplementary material. doi: 10.5802/crbiol.6.
–ABSTRACT: Studies on the cognitive abilities of manatees are limited despite their importance for the environmental enrichment and welfare of individuals in captivity and the understanding of manatee behaviour in the wild. Our study analyses how the presence of new stimuli and their association with food may have changed the behaviour of an Antillean manatee called Daniel. First, Daniel was observed in the absence of stimuli and subsequently, in step two, presented with the presence of four different geometrical shapes. During step three, we trained Daniel to eat from the square, while in step four he was presented with the four shapes without food. The behaviour and interaction of the manatee with the square increased considerably. We observed that three and twelve months after training the manatee still chose the square and displayed behaviours toward this specific shape. This study allowed us to formally demonstrate the ability of manatees to associate visual cues with food and increase activity with environmental and occupational devices. Our results open up new perspectives for behavioural studies on manatees, in particular those associated with cognition, management and welfare in captivity.
Robles-Herrejón, Juan Carlos; Morales-Vela, Benjamín; Ortega-Argueta, Alejandro; Pozo, Carmen; Olivera-Gómez, León David (detail)
Management effectiveness in marine protected areas for conservation of Antillean manatees on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.
Aquatic Conservation: Marine & Freshwater Ecosystems 30: 1182-1193. May 7, 2020.
–ABSTRACT: 1. This study evaluated management effectiveness in three marine protected areas (MPAs) for conservation of the Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus Linnaeus, 1758), located on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The MPAs evaluated were the Yum-Balam Flora and Fauna Reserve, Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, and Chetumal Bay Manatee Sanctuary. The extent of the traditional, popular, and scientific manatee knowledge and research were assessed, as well as the prescribed conservation management actions, relevant stakeholders, and the degree of inclusion of manatee species in the management schemes of these MPAs.
  2. Four general criteria, 12 specific criteria, and 62 indicators were developed. In total, 199 interviews were completed in seven communities of the MPAs in order to determine the perception of the social, economic, and conservation impacts of the manatee and its management.
  3. Although the evaluated MPAs were not wholly comparable among themselves due to their different management categories and schemes, administration, socio-economic context, and the dynamics and conflicts encountered, a comparison was conducted using standardized criteria and a categorical scale in order to evaluate the level of effectiveness of each MPA.
  4. The MPA with the highest management effectiveness in manatee conservation was found to be the Chetumal Bay, with an effectiveness classed as good (71%), followed by Sian Ka'an with intermediate effectiveness (53%) and Yum?Balam, also with intermediate effectiveness (43%).
  5. The relationships between the key stakeholders of the three MPAs and economic activities such as fishing and tourism are the factors that most influence the effectiveness of management for manatee conservation.
Callejas-Jiménez, Mariana E.; Alcérreca-Huerta, Juan Carlos; Morales-Vela, Benjamin; Carrillo, Laura (detail)
Spatial and seasonal variations in surface water temperature and salinity in the Mexico-Belize riverine estuary: Possible comfort conditions for manatees?
Mar. Mamm. Sci. 37(4): 1454-1474. Oct. 2021 (publ. online June 11, 2021).
–ABSTRACT: The Mexican Caribbean and Belize are home to one of the largest populations of Caribbean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus). However, the transboundary Hondo River estuary is less examined compared to the surrounding protected areas. This paper provides a quantitative description of the spatial and temporal variability in abiotic factors and manatee distribution throughout the Hondo River estuary, with monthly field measurements during 2018–2019. Simultaneously, visual observations and side-scan sonar detection were implemented, with 84 manatee sightings reported (calves 11.9%, noncalves 88.1%). Heatmap and frequency analyses showed that most manatee sightings occurred at the riverine estuary limit, the confluences between the river and the bay into which it flows. The surface water temperature and salinity ranged 28°C?T?32°C and 0.5 PSU?S?4.5 PSU for ~72% of the manatees identified, potentially describing locally preferred conditions for manatees. During the regional mid-summer drought, higher temperature (31.5°C), salinity (18 PSU), and estuary extent (17.6?km) were recorded, including the maximum peak of manatee sightings (~31%). The roles of these abiotic factors are discussed as tentative environmental comfort conditions for manatees that could reduce their energy and maintenance costs. The identification of preferred conditions could broaden perspectives on how manatees interact with their habitats.

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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