Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Manatees Rescued In Senegal!!

In August, Save the Manatee Club contributed $2,600 to help rescue a West African manatee mother and calf in Senegal. The pair had become trapped behind a dam, and the emergency funding was necessary to capture them and remove them from danger.

The dam was constructed two years ago on the Nawel River, a main branch of the Senegal River, and blocks the manatees’ migratory route. Manatees in Senegal have a migratory cycle that is dictated by the rainy and dry seasons. During the rainy season, manatees gain access to a valley with abundant food where they spend several months. Then, as the dry season approaches, they follow streams to return to the Senegal River.

“In August, we were contacted by Tomas Diagne, a West African manatee biologist, because the mother manatee and her calf had been spotted trapped behind the dam,” said Dr. Katie Tripp, Director of Science and Conservation for Save the Manatee Club. “The Club donation allowed Tomas to rent the equipment and gather the personnel he needed to carry out the rescue. On August 31st, I received an e-mail from Tomas stating that the rescues had been completed successfully and the mother and her calf were out of harm’s way.”
Save the Manatee Club members may recall that the Club recently gave $3,600 to rescue eight other manatees in Senegal. In December 2009, five manatees had become trapped upstream of the dam. Although the dam was not open at the time, the manatees were in danger because water levels had dropped, and there was no food available. In addition, there was a risk the manatees could be hunted. Food was brought in to sustain the manatees, and a guardian was stationed at the site to protect them until they could be rescued. A few weeks later, three other manatees were found in Windou Kanel, approximately four miles southeast of the Nawel dam. In May 2010, all eight manatees had been rescued, transported downstream of the dam, and released in the Senegal River.


To date, four manatees have already died at the Nawel River dam. Because manatees are mammals, they must surface to breathe air, and the manatees likely drowned when they were pinned underwater after the dam opened.

“We hope to meet with Tomas soon to help develop a long-range plan for protecting the migration corridors of manatees in West Africa,” said Tripp. “These two rescue events in Senegal highlight the critical importance of our Emergency Rescue Fund, and we want to say thank you to those people who have donated. It is crucial that we have funds available, so we can respond to calls for help from anywhere in the world. None of our work would be possible without our generous supporters.”

Thank you to one of my favourite charities "Save The Manatee Club" for their generous donation to help save this beautiful and highly endangered specie!! For more information and ways to donate please visit: Save The Manatee Club


1 comment:

  1. Really Good Blog ..................... and you talking real sense too. Great!