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Tolerance of West Indian manatees to capture and handling

Tolerance of West Indian manatees to capture and handling

Biological Conservation 334: 335-349

ISSN/ISBN: 0006-3207

DOI: 10.1016/0006-3207(85)90075-8

Ninety-two West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) have been captured in the southeastern United States from October 1975 through November 1983 with no evidence of an unusual susceptibility to capture myopathy. Of these, 53 were radio-tracked or observed in the field following capture with no evidence of delayed capture stress. Blood samples obtained at capture for 20 wild individuals displayed no elevation in biochemical variables typically seen in mammalian capture myopathy cases. Thirty-one manatees captured for rescue and rehabilitation generally did not exhibit symptoms of capture myopathy, although in one case marked elevations in creatinine phosphokinase were observed, probably related to lenghy transport. Necropsy findings for 20 terminal cases that died of various causes unrelated to their rescue or handling did not indicate the involvement of any gross or histological lesions of capture myopathy. Historical records for the capture and handling of about 150 West Indian manatees during the 1900s also suggest a tolerance to these activities. Recent observations on the probable susceptibility of dugongs (Dugong dugon) to capture stress apparently cannot be extended to West Indian manatees.

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Accession: 018186663

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