River was observed socializing with another animal about two hours after his release inside the sanctuary. He was still inside the sanctuary on 3/16/07 and was observed milling along the banks.
Saturday afternoon at 3:00pm , Joaquin Alonso recovered River's tag at Princeton canal floating at the flood gate on the West side. Floodgates were closed so there is a possibility that River is upstream, or it could have been dropped there. Joaquin didn’t have a microphone to listen for his belt.
The remainder of the afternoon plus an early morning excursion on Sunday were no more successful in locating River.
On March 30 James went back north along the coast from Turkey Point Power Plant to Black Point where he thought he heard a faint, one-time signal. He entered Blackpoint and when close to the shrimp boat row, heard a faint beep but could not get a direction or another beep. He went to the marina and waited near the sanctuary for 20 minutes, w/ no signal, then went down shrimp boat row -- no signal. He then went back out into the bay and returned to the park and attempted truck tracking along the canals with no success.
On April 7, Joaquin Alonso recovered River's tag at Princeton canal floating at the flood gate on the West side. The floodgates were closed – w/ River possibly upstream. Joaquin turned the tag off after removing it from the water. The remainder of the afternoon plus an early morning excursion the next day were no more successful in locating River. We are presently attempting to locate this individual for re-tag.
On May 3, a Miami aerial was unsuccessful in finding River or Sparky. Christy Hudak of SE/ FWC organized the day. She had people stationed in the FPL area, people checking the Water Management District canals; MARS, the SE/ FWC staff and Kit Curtin also donated their time looking for these animals; Elizabeth was on the water w/ hydrophone...a very organized and thorough search. The manatees in the area were scattered north of the Biscayne National Park area and only larger animals were seen in the Card Sound area.
On May 21, crews sonic tracked the Water Management District, FPL , was covered, out on some grass flats, Pumpkin Key, Key Largo Anglers Club and around the Biscayne Marina. The northern areas weren’t checked. The focus was on the area that the animal was seen, with the presumption that the sighting was Sparky as that is the area he had been using.
On May 23, Bob and Joe of FPL were out for three hours looking on their property, and then again all day on Thursday. On Thursday Joe was actually on a boat in the finger cooling canals with clients and Bob was out surveying for a well in the main Sea-Dade canal. Kit Curtin was following one of their animals in the Card Sound area and she narrowed its signal down to and inaccessible mangrove area. Could be where our guy is as well.
As of June 11, Joaquin had gone out sonicing over the weekend for Sparky and River. He only saw two animals near Deering Estate. He did not hear anything when he used the hydrophone.
We are continuing to search for the animals on a weekly basis. Sonic buoys are planned for deployment in the area by the end of the month.
For the Miami animals, our efforts entail the press release, occasional aerial surveys and sonic tracking on a bi-weekly and sometimes weekly basis, until further notice.
6/12/07 – 9/17/07:
There have been no new sightings on River.