Master of Science
Survey, Boaters, Manatee, Florida
Date of Defense
Scientists are extremely concerned that the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, does not have a sufficient population number nor reproductive rate to ensure long-term species viability. This research was done to investigate aspects of boater behavior in an effort to determine measures that might decrease boat-manatee collisions and help researchers plan intervention strategies in related areas. Initially, boat data was collected over a period of several months at a Miami waterway. Next, a detailed phone survey of boat owners was conducted. Although most boaters were found noncompliant with the speed zone, several questions from the survey showed that most valued manatees and almost half wanted them to remain listed as endangered. This is very encouraging as boater support for the manatee is possibly one of the most important indicators of manatee chances for survival. Suggestions included requiring mandatory boating classes and informing boaters of faster routes to their destinations.
Futerfas, Judith, "Correlates of Boater Knowledge and Views Regarding the Florida Manatee and Manatee Related Issues" (2003). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 52.