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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – By allocating a specific budget item for next year, the National System of Conservation Areas (Sinac) intends to initiate an investigation to determine the status and population of the manatee population, which was recently declared a national symbol.

    Donald Campbell, coordinator of coastal marine program in the Amistad Caribbean Conservation Area, said an investigation by the foundation revealed that in the areas of Cahuita and Gandoca Manzanillo Refuge there have been no sightings of manatees, which are normally common locations to see the large creatures.

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    According to Campbell, the research program for next year would be developed by several state universities.

    Carlos Espinoza, a Trichechus Foundation researcher said it was believed that the manatee lived in the Tortuguero area, where there are wetlands, however, the presence of manatees have also been found in the area of Puerto Limon and Vargas using sonar technology .

    Campbell added that tourism in Gandoca Manzanillo channels by the boat engines, can affect the habitat of this species, and cause injury to the manatees that inhabit the region.

    The investigations so far suggest that the manatee feeds on aquatic grasses in the river Sixaola, but the grazing areas are not sufficient to maintain a population.

    The manatee is endangered and difficult to see, with a range from Barra del Colorado to Sixaola in this Caribbean region.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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