Bibliography Record

Askin, Nesime; Belanger, Michael; Wittnich, Carin (detail)
A review of natural milk, commercial replacement formulas, and home-made substitutes used in the care of rescued manatee calves.
Journal of Marine Animals and Their Ecology 7(1): 17-22. 3 figs. July-Aug. 2014.
–ABSTRACT: In marine animal rehabilitation, people with a wide range of education and experience must be knowledgeable on the nutritional requirements of numerous marine species and especially their young that may become abandoned. The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) population has on average 10 calves per year requiring rehabilitation in that state alone. A review was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of natural manatee milk (NMM) versus the various milk replacers or 'home-made' formulas fed to rescued manatee calves with respect to maintaining growth and adequate weight gain. Various databases (PubMed, Web of Knowledge, Google Scholar, Internet, etc) were searched (1979-2013) for any literature describing the composition and feeding of NMM and milk replacers to manatee calves. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website was used to identify the number of rescued manatee calves per year (9.67 ± 3.39, mean ± SD) from 2008 through 2013. Of the 4 research articles describing manatee milk composition and the use of various commercial or 'home-made' formulas, only 2 articles compared growth patterns with the type of milk formulas used. This scant amount of published data alone reveals the need for further research into the use of milk replacers versus NMM when feeding rescued manatee calves. The lack of knowledge in the use of milk replacers or their efficacy in maintaining healthy manatee calves underlines the need for further scientific studies and published results to clarify the proper nutritional requirements to successfully rehabilitate rescued manatee calves and better insure their successful release back into their natural environment.

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