The West Indian manatee population in Mobile Bay, AL and surrounding waters (1912-2022)

Dataset extent

Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors


This dataset contains information on manatee sightings recorded in the north central Gulf of Mexico and compiled by DISL's Manatee Sighting Network. Records include historical (prior to 2007) manatee sighting data compiled from previously published sources and newly generated sightings (2007-2021) compiled from research activities and public reporting to DISL's Manatee Sighting Network. All sightings include at minimum the date, location of sighting, number of manatees per sighting, and animal condition.


Increased awareness of the importance of West Indian manatee habitats at the edges of their range, such as the north central Gulf of Mexico, has prompted demand for studies to guide development of management programs outside areas covered under the Florida Manatee Recovery Program. The objective of this project is to determine when and how manatees use habitat in Alabama and nearby waters by: -Defining habitat use in terms of distribution and abundance of manatees within the waters, -Measuring the frequency of habitat use at discrete locations, -Determining relationships to other manatee populations, -Defining and distinguishing available and utilized food resources, and -Recording and sharing data with other researchers, managers, and the public. This dataset is part of a larger study of manatee habitat and resource use in the region which also includes aerial and ground surveys of manatees and use of satellite telemetry tags.


Suggested Citation

Related Publication Citation

Gordon Gunter, Allison Perry, A 1981 Sighting of Trichechus manatus in Mississippi, Journal of Mammalogy, Volume 64, Issue 3, 18 August 1983, Page 513,

Fertl, D., A. Schiro, G. Regan, C. Beck, N. Adimey, L. Price-May, A. Amos, G. Worthy and R. Crossland. 2005. Manatee Occurrence in the Northern Gulf of Mexico, West of Florida. Gulf and Caribbean Research 17 (1): 69-94. Retrieved from DOI:

Pabody CM, Carmichael RH, Rice L, Ross M (2009) A new sighting network adds to 20 years of historical data on fringe West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) populations in Alabama waters. Gulf of Mexico Science 2009(1):52-61.

Hieb EE, Carmichael RH, Aven A, Nelson‑Seely C, Taylor N (2017) Sighting demographics of the West Indian manatee Trichechus manatus in the north-central Gulf of Mexico supported by citizen-sourced data. Endang Species Res 32:321-332.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Author Ruth Carmichael
Version 0.2
Last Updated April 10, 2023, 18:07 (UTC)
Created July 22, 2022, 22:51 (UTC)
Content Create Date 2016-06-30 Gordon Gunter and Allison Perry D. Fertl, A. Schiro, G. Regan, C. Beck, N. Adimey, L. Price-May, A. Amos, G. Worthy and R. Crossland Claire M. Pabody, Ruth H. Carmichael, Lauren Rice and Monica Ross Elizabeth E. Hieb, Ruth H. Carmichael1, Allen Aven1, Courtney Nelson-Seely, Nicole Taylor
ISO.custodian Elizabeth Hieb <>
ISO.pointOfContact Pat David <>
ISO.principalInvestigator Ruth Carmichael <>
ISO.principalInvestigator.1 Ruth Carmichael <>
Place Keywords DISL, Dauphin Island, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Gulf of Mexico, Apalachicola Bay, Amite Bay, Bay La Launch, Bay St. Louis, Bayou Heron, Bayou La Batre, Bayou St. John, Big Lagoon, Biloxi Back Bay, Biloxi Bay, Blakeley River, Bon Secour Bay, Bon Secour River, Chickasaw Creek, Chuckfee Bay, Destin Pass, Dog River, D'Olive Bay, Escambia River, Fish River, Fly Creek, Fort Bayou, Fowl River, Grand Bay, Halls Mill Creek, Homosassa Springs, Intercoastal Waterway, Jourdan River, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Wimico, Magnolia River, Mary Walker Bayou, Mississippi River, Mississippi Sound, Mobile Bay, Mobile-Tensaw Delta, Old River, Oyster Bay, Pascagoula River, Pearl River, Pensacola Bay, Perdido Bay, Perdido Pass, Portersville Bay, Rabbit Creek, Raft River, Rattlesnake Bayou, Santa Rosa Sound, Sioux Bayou, Spanish River, St. Andrews Bay, St. Joseph Bay, Steele Creek, Tensaw River, Terry Cove, Theodore Industrial Canal, Wakulla River, Weeks Bay, West Fowl River, West Pascagoula River, Wolf Bay
Temporal Begin 1912-03-02
Temporal End 2022-12-30
Theme Keywords West Indian manatee, Trichechus manatus, extralimital population, wildlife management, Florida Manatee Recovery Program, habitat, distribution, abundance, food resources, citizen science
Use Constraints Acknowledgment of Dauphin Island Sea Lab's Manatee Sighting Network, Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Fresh Water Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, and the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GoMESA) is required in products developed from these data, and such acknowledgment as is standard for citation and legal practices for data source is expected by users of these data. Users should be aware that comparison with other data sets for the same area from other time periods may be inaccurate due to inconsistencies resulting from changes in mapping conventions, data collection, and computer processes over time. The distributor shall not be liable for improper or incorrect use of these data, based on the description of appropriate/inappropriate uses described in the metadata document. These data are not legal documents and are not to be used as such.
spatial { "type": "Polygon", "coordinates": [ [ [ -97.475, 40.090866 ], [ -74.03213, 40.090866 ], [ -74.03213, 23.152344 ], [ -97.475, 23.152344 ], [ -97.475, 40.090866 ] ] ] }