Estimating Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) abundance using passive acoustic methods

Athena M. Rycyk*, Cora Berchem, Tiago A. Marques

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Manatees are difficult to detect, particularly cryptic populations that inhabit areas with limited water clarity. The effectiveness of using vocal detections to estimate manatee abundance was evaluated in a clear water spring where manatees congregate seasonally. Vocalizations were extracted by a detection classifier that clustered sounds with similar spectral properties. Vocalization counts from recordings in Blue Spring, FL, USA were strong predictors of manatee abundance. The link between independent visual counts and abundance estimates from passive acoustic monitoring was used to provide an estimate of 1.059 (95% confidence interval 0.963–1.127) vocalizations/manatee/5-min, which might be used elsewhere for cue counting of manatees.
Original languageEnglish
Article number051202
Number of pages8
JournalJASA Express Letters
Issue number5
Early online date13 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


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