P.O. Box 366
Chilmark, MA 02535
BP 449 Ngaparou
Senegal, West Africa
United States: +1 508-388-9824
Senegal: +221 33 95 78 999
The African manatee is the most endangered and least studied manatee species in the world. It lives in lagoons within equatorial rainforests, in rivers at the edge of the Sahara Desert, around coastal islands in the Atlantic Ocean, and in many other habitats in 21 countries along the Atlantic African coast, as well as over 2000 miles inland in rivers in Mali and Chad. Despite laws to protect them, the African manatees’ biggest threats are illegal poaching, accidental capture in fisheries (bycatch), and other human-caused threats such as entrapment behind dams and habitat destruction.
Dr. Lucy Keith Diagne has been studying the African manatee for over 10 years with the simple goal of increasing knowledge about the species to aid its protection and conservation. Accurate data collected consistently over multiple countries allows us to determine national as well as regional trends, and to bring people from different countries together to work to address threats. We are conducting a long-term collaborative project that includes field research and laboratory analysis components to assess manatee status and distribution throughout the species range. The resulting data and analyses provide much needed new information for the species, and will help improve management and conservation actions.
This project includes the following components:
The results of our analyses from the biological information we collect helps us to develop a more complete understanding of life history for manatees from several populations throughout West and Central Africa, and gives us information we need to conserve them.