West African Manatee

West African Manatee


Trichechus senegalensis


The West African Manatee is thought to occur in some of the major estuarine and river systems of Liberia and has been reported at Lake Piso.


IUCN Red List status: Vulnerable [1]
(updated on 10/02/11)

Liberian Status: None [2]

Geographical Range: The species occurs in coastal, estuarine and river waters on the west coast of Africa [5]. The species is thought to occur in some of the major estuarine and river systems of Liberia [3] and has been reported at Lake Piso [4].

Habitat and Ecology: The habitat requirements of the species are thought to include sheltered water and access to freshwater [5]. Reported sightings indicate the species inhabits coastal lagoons and mangrove areas with abundant mangrove, seagrass and or emergent vegetation [5]. The species is generally solitary except for mother and calf social units [5], although they may rest in groups during the day. The species feeds primarily at night [5].

Threats: Unregulated hunting [6] and incidental catches have been cited as the main cause for the decline of the species. The level of these threats is thought to be increasing [5]. Other threats include the destruction of habitat [5]. The species is now listed as an Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species under the EDGE of Existence programme (see link opposite).

References:

[1] IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 10 February 2011.

[2] The Government of Liberia’s Forest Development Authority. [online] Available at: <http://www.fda.gov.lr> [Accessed 01.02.11]

[3] Robinson, P.T., 1971. Wildlife Trends in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Oryx. 11(2-3):117-122.

[4] Ramsar (2009) ramsar site information service, www.wetlands.org/rsis/. Accessed 3rd Feb 2009.

[5] Powell, J. & Kouadio, A. 2008. Trichechus senegalensis. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 10 February 2011.

[6] Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 1979. Mammals in the Seas. FAO Fisheries Series No. 5.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *