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Population growth rates cited below were estimated by Runge and colleagues (2004) using a stage-based model that integrated mark-recapture estimates of survival and reproduction (Kendall . The estimates of vital rates were made possible through a long-term, multi-agency effort to photographically identify individual manatees based on their distinct patterns of scars and mutilations (Beck and Reid 1995).
Atlantic Subpopulation: The Atlantic Coast subpopulation extends along the entire east coast of Florida (including the Florida Keys and Florida Bay), coastal states northward along the Atlantic seaboard, and the lower St. A total of 1,444 manatees were counted in the Atlantic region during the 2001 synoptic survey.
Exchange of individuals among subpopulations is considered to be relatively limited, based on data from telemetry (Rathbun . The four subpopulations differ in abundance, demographic rates, habitats, and major threats.2006); this is presumed to be a minimum count, but the fraction detected is unknown.Based on the assumption of a stable age distribution, and estimating proportion mature to be 0.70 from the core biological population model, the estimated number of mature individuals in the population is 2,310.During the warm season (March or April through October or November, depending on latitude and year), manatees disperse throughout the coastal waters, estuaries, and major rivers of Florida and some migrate to neighboring states, particularly south-eastern Georgia.Their range constricts dramatically in the winter season (December to February) when manatees seek shelter from the cold at a limited number of warm-water sites or areas in the southern two-thirds of Florida.