Thanks to funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and terrific design work by Aimee Sanders of Green Butterfly Designs, we have created three different 60cm x 90cm manatee educational panels in French for natural history museums in West African countries. The first ones were created in Gabon, but they are not specific to any country and therefore can be used in any Francophone country that has manatees.
The first panel gives general information about all the sirenians (manatees and their cousins the dugongs) around the world: The second one discusses information specific to West African manatees, such as the types of habitat they live in, their physical characteristics, laws that protect them, and threats. The third panel focuses on West African manatee research (behavioral, physiology and habitat studies, genetics, etc.), protection measures and ways that the public can contribute to their conservation. One set of panels will be installed at the ecomusee in Sette Cama, Gabon, which also displays a manatee skeleton. Sette Cama attracts several thousand tourists a year who come for wildlife viewing and sport fishing. The ecomusee sits on a narrow peninsula between N’dogo Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean.
A second set of panels created in Gabon will hopefully soon be installed in an ecomousee in a different part of the country. I hope to produce more of these for other African countries soon!