Regulatory News

Last week, a month after a whale rescue training course, the Center for Aquatic Mammals (CMA) of the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) promoted a new course. This time, researchers from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) came to give a training course on rescuing manatees in Ceara, state in northeastern Brazil.

"It was more than training, actually. We went to Ceara to actually capture the animals. In five days, we got five. We took blood samples, and we collected feces and urine for tests. We also put a ring with a radio transmitter on their tails before returning them to the sea. Now we know where they eat, where they drink fresh water, where they go and other information about this population," says the national coordinator of the CMA ICMBio.

This analysis of manatee habits in the region was a condition imposed by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA) on Petrobras so the company would work in the field without putting the lives of animals at risk. Petrobras, in turn, hired CMA for the project.

"It will be important for outlining preservation activities, for fishing nets and boat traffic to avoid manatee routes," said Fabia.

Capturing the mammals was done with a special boat which you to do so without putting it at risk. Although training and analysis was only done in the area of ​​Ceara, the goal now is to replicate the activity in the Alagoas-Amapá- area of ​​the Brazilian coast where the manatees are.

"The techniques we use have been around for 20 years but had never been used in Brazil. We signed a technical cooperation agreement with the USGS which has changed this situation," said Fabia, stating that the CMA purchased the equipment to continue the research elsewhere.

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