Record number of manatees sighted in Belize

Sometimes the best way to approach a situation is by getting a new perspective.

Researchers in Belize have done just that, and have strengthened efforts to protect one of the most iconic — and threatened — animals in the world’s oceans.

To get a better handle on the number and locations of endangered Antillean manatees, Belize’s leading marine research organization and conservation groups took to the skies to scan the crystalline waters of Belize for the rotund marine mammals. From their bird’s-eye view aboard small planes, researchers have been able to spot a record 507 manatees this year, confirming Belize’s status as the world’s most important country for this endangered subspecies.

A team from the Oceanic Society, led by Dr. Holly Edwards, partnered with LightHawk to conduct aerial surveys of the remote Turneffe Atoll, which were then combined with surveys of the mainland coast led by Nicole Auil Gomez of Belize’s Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute and LightHawk to arrive at the total…..

See the full post on Huffington Post (posted 15 Aug 2012)

Check out the incredible photos and more details on the story here:

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