Friday, August 24, 2007

Brazil reviving endangered Amazon manatees

France24.com has a news update on the status of the Amazonian Manatee. The article covers the work being done by Brazilian conservationists who are looking to reintroduce Manatees into the wild. The National Amazon Research Institute have 36 manatees in captivity, all of them captured as babies after being discarded by hunters. Their ultimate plan will be to release as many as half of them back into the wild in the coming years.
In February 2008 scientists at the National Amazon Research Institute (INPA) plan to take the two manatees (Trichechus inungis) and drop them into the Rio Cuieiras, a tributary of the Rio Negro, where researchers hope they will seek out females and begin repopulating the area.
[...]
Despite being protected, the manatee population of the vast Amazon has steadily fallen with habitat loss, slow reproduction -- females give birth only once every two years and to only one offspring -- and due to hunting by people who eat the huge, sluggish fresh-water mammal.

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