Bahia Beach Resort Protects the Caribbean Manatee

July 4, 2015

Puerto Rico is home to many majestic creatures, but few are quite as beautiful and enchanting as the Caribbean Manatee (Trichechus manatus). Unfortunately, this beloved creature is on the highly endangered species list, so it is our job to do everything we can to protect the Caribbean Manatees that remain.

Get to Know the Caribbean Manatee

If you haven't seen a Caribbean Manatee for yourself, you are missing out on something spectacular. These large mammals are often seen in the waters in front of the Bahia Beach Resort, where they always attract the attention of onlookers. Their large bodies somewhat resemble a whale; however, they are the cousin of the elephant, which is definitely apparent in their appearance.

When the Caribbean Manatees are close to the coast, they are on the hunt for food and freshwater, which can be found in ample amounts around the Bahia Beach Resort. They thrive on the sea grasses that grow in the shallow waters, and they thirst for the pure water from the rivers, undersea aquifers, and rain. Often referred to as gentle giants, the Caribbean Manatees especially love the sea grass that can be found in front of the Plantation Home at the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort.

One of the most endearing facts about these treasured sea creatures is that the females stay with their babies until they are two or three years old. Two calves can often be found around their mother until they are ready to head out into the ocean and start a life of their own.

How Bahia Beach is Helping

The Caribbean Manatee is naturally protected from large sea predators because they spend most of their time in close proximity to the coastline, but that doesn't mean they don’t have any imminent dangers. In Puerto Rico, their most worrisome threats are the degradation of their habitat, as well as jet skis and speedboats. While we can't stop boaters, we can do a lot to maintain the Caribbean Manatee's habitat. Our efforts to keep the Caribbean Manatees in front of the Bahia Beach Resort include:

  • We have close relationships with several private and public organizations to work together to protect the natural environment of Puerto Rico.
  • We are the only resort in the Caribbean to be a Certified Gold Audubon International Signature Sanctuary, which means we go above and beyond to preserve the amazing wildlife around us.
  • When the aquatic plants are removed from the lakes within the Bahia Beach Resort, we donate them to the Center for Manatee Conservation of Puerto Rico, who gives them to the Caribbean Manatees as a nutritious treat.
  • At our inception, we partnered with the Caribbean Stranding Network to produce a manatee book for children, helping to raise awareness.
  • We are co-hosting an upcoming fundraiser for manatee conservation, along with the Soul of Bahia Foundation (a non-profit that promotes wildlife conservation, preservation, and education about the issues at hand). This fundraiser, "Help Save the Manatee", will be held on the weekend of September 5th & 6th.

It's easy to see why the Caribbean Manatee is one of the most cherished animals found in Puerto Rico. Their majestic size and natural grace is an amazing sight to see in person, and we intend on bringing this experience to the guests of the Bahia Beach Resort for many years to come.