Sparky was observed milling around the edges of the shoreline shortly after release and had even milled his way up to the boat ramp. He explored around the docks for about 30 minutes before bolting up towards the flood structure. Three hours after release, Sparky was surface resting alone in front of the center structure. He was observed milling outside of Blackpoint on 3/16/07.
James found Sparky’s tag yesterday at about 4:45pm, washed up against a seawall at the Key Largo Angler’s Club. He’s presently attempting to locate Sparky.
On March 29, Sparky was found in the outflow canal south of the Turkey Point power station. He was in the lower canal with one other large manatee. They were very social the entire time, w/ 4 plus 1 hanging around a short distance away. They milled out to the bay, turned around and went back into the canal, then they milled all the way back down the canal.
On March 30, Sparky was again found in the same outflow canal with the 5+1. They were in the second small side cut, milling and socializing for 30 minutes then traveled to the 1st side cut but did not enter. The group milled for 18 minutes outside the cut and then returned to the 2nd cut and began socializing and milling again. Sparky remained social the entire time.
On 4/18, James found Sparky’s tag, washed up against a seawall at the Key Largo Angler’s Club.
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 Sparky but we did get one transmission from one of our listening sonic buoys south of FPL Turkey Point Plant we suspect was from Sparky’s belt.