Our last tagged manatee in Senegal (the female in the Senegal River on the far eastern side of the country, at the border with Mauritania) made another big move northward again in late July. But this time she left the main Senegal River and entered a tributary in early August. This is not the tributary we rescued her from last January, and as far as we know, manatees have not been recorded in this one before. It looks like she’s swimming on dry land in the Google Earth image below, but that’s just because the satellite image was taken during the dry season, when the tributaries dry up completely. So it’s both interesting but worrisome, because the rainy season will end in a month and we don’t want her trapped again. So hopefully someone will get out there to look at the location soon.
The other surprise for us is that the tag is still transmitting at all. The batteries for the GPS are supposed to last about 6 months, but it has now been transmitting for over 8 months! It’s great for us to get as much information as possible… and also to know she may have just entered another area where she could become trapped as the water falls. So we’re learning alot.
I’m returning to Senegal in a few days, so I hope to have new information about this tagged manatee soon.