Manatee acoustic communication has not been studied extensively because it has been believed that manatees have a very limited communication system, which acts mainly as a contact call between a mother and calf. This project will investigate the form and function of manatee vocalizations, which will allow us to learn more about what signals manatees produce, what potential function they might serve, and what differences individual manatee calls have. Additionally, the project will also identify the presence of mastication (chewing) sounds that could be later used as markers for feeding events.
We need help of citizen scientists to identify and later classify and categorize manatee calls.
The ultimate goal is to use data analyzed by citizen scientists to train deep learning models which could be used in passive acoustic manatee tracking and monitoring, to potentially warn boaters about manatee presence and for the general advance of our understanding of form and function of manatee communication systems.
Update: A survey for citizen scientists! We would like to hear from you about your thoughts and experiences with citizen science! 10 questions, 4 minutes. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QMJYKLD