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Lessons 2: How Does the Season Affect the Number of Manatee Strikes?

Most manatees live in tropical climates. However, even tropical regions have seasonal changes. Does the season affect the likelihood that a boat will strike a manatee?

Doing the science

  1. Start the Manatee Strike Zone Simulation by clicking on the "Sim" tab.
  2. Click the mouse in a location in Zone 1 and drag the mouse to Zone 2 before it’s released. Note a red path and boat appears.
  3. Click the mouse in a location in Zone 2 and drag the mouse to Zone 3 before it’s released. Note another red path and boat appears.
  4. Note and record in Table 1 the number of manatees on the screen (it should be 5).
  5. Note and record in Table 1 the "Season" displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.
  6. Click the "Run" button. Let the time run for 1:00 minute.
  7. At the 1:00 minute mark, click the "Pause" button.
  8. Note and record in Table 1 the number of manatee strikes shown in the display in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  9. Click on the "Restart" button.
  10. Click on the "Fall/Winter" radio button to select a new season. Record this in Table 1.
  11. Click the "Run" button. Let the time run for 1:00 minute.
  12. At the 1:00 minute mark, click the "Pause" button.
  13. Note and record in Table 1 the number of manatee strikes shown in the display in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

Table 1.

Season

Number of Manatees

Number of Strikes (in one minute)

Do You Understand?

  1. How did the season affect the likelihood that a manatee strike would occur


  2. What suggestions regarding manatees would you make to the Fish and Wildlife officials based on your results from this experiment?