|Regional Management Plan for the West Indian Manatee, Trichechus manatus|
|CEP Technical Report No. 35 1995||All CEP Technical Reports|
French Guiana (France)
Puerto Rico (USA)
Trinidad & Tobago
Status and distribution
There is no recent information on population status and distribution, and aerial surveys have not been attempted. Bertram and Bertram (1963) estimated Guyana's manatee population at some thousands but reduced from former levels. Manatees are more common along coastal rivers, specially in wet savannah areas (e.g. Canje, Abary and Berbice rivers), or near sluices by the outflow of drainage channels from plantations in the sugar estates of Buxton, Leonora, Uitvulgt and Airy Hall. Manatees in the ocean are more likely to be travelling between rivers (Bertram and Bertram 1963, 1964, 1973). Northwest Guyana and the border with Suriname (Courantyne River region) contain the greatest numbers (Bertram and Bertram 1963). Manatees have been reported for the Arapiako, Akawini, Wuini, Barima, Sebai and Kiatuna rivers. They are sometimes seen in the Demerara river and occasionally at the river mouth in Georgetown (Bertram and Bertram 1973).
Major threats and conservation problems
Bertram and Bertram (1963, 1964) noticed an increase in motorized dugout canoes and other powered boats and suggested this was restricting manatee distribution. There is no organized hunting of manatees in Guyana although they may be taken when opportunity presents itself (Bertram and Bertram 1963). Accidental entanglement in fishing nets is responsible for some manatee deaths (Lefebvre et al. 1989).
Socio-economic significance of the species to local communities
Manatees have been experimentally used as biological weed control agents (Alsopp 1960, Bertram and Bertram 1963, National Science Research Council of Guyana and National Academy of Sciences 1973), without conclusive results.
National legislation and conservation measures
The species has been totally protected since 1956 by the Fisheries Ordinance No. 30, revised in 1961 (Fisheries (Manatee Control) Regulations) (Bertram and Bertram 1963, Lefebvre et al. 1989). Guyana is a Party to the CITES Convention but has not yet signed the SPAW Protocol.
During a specialist Manatee Workshop in 1974, the establishment of an International Centre for Manatee research and conservation was proposed in Georgetown (National Science Research Council 1974). No information is available on current conservation programmes.
Belize | Colombia | Costa Rica | Cuba | Dominican Republic | French Guiana (France) | Guatemala | Guyana | Haiti | Honduras | Jamaica | Mexico | Nicaragua | Panama | Puerto Rico (USA) | Suriname | Trinidad & Tobago | United States | Venezuela
Top of Page
Preface and Objectives | Summary | I. Introduction | II. National Status | III. Short and Long-term... | IV. References | Appendix I | Appendix II | Appendix III | Table 1 | Manatee Map