DISL’s Manatee Sighting Network

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To report emergencies such as an animal in distress or a carcass
please call 

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Sign up NOW to pre-purchase a Manatee Sighting Network License Plate!

MSN is introducing a new license plate design featuring the Manatee Sighting Network logo on the current Alabama plate. Here's what you need to know about the new plate:

  • To produce this plate, we must obtain 250 pre-commitments by June 2017.
  • This plate will carry an annual fee of $50, over 80% of which will be donated to MSN as a tax-deductible contribution.
  • If we fail to obtain the required number of pre-commitments before the one year deadline, $48.75 of your $50 fee can be refunded to you, or if you choose, can be retained by MSN as a tax-deductible donation.

To pre-commit to our new plate design TODAY! click here or contact us at manatee@disl.org

Click HERE to order your copy today! 

Magnolia Manatee's Long Journey Home is now in production!

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s Manatee Sighting Network (DISL/MSN) will be featured in a soon to be released children’s book by local photographer and author, Simone Lipscomb.  The book, Magnolia Manatee's Long Journey Home, is based on the true story of a manatee known as Magnolia, who was the first manatee in Alabama history to be successfully rescued after she became stranded in cold Alabama waters in January 2015.  Magnolia was recued by DISL/MSN staff, partners from SeaWorld in Orlando, and volunteers from the Magnolia Springs community.  

The author, Simone Lipscomb, is a long-time DISL/MSN volunteer and was an integral member of Magnolia’s rescue team.  The book is illustrated by Linda-Bell Schorer.  The result is a book for children of all ages! 

The book is planned for a Christmas 2016 release, and a portion of the proceeds from each sale will be donated to support DISL/MSN's mission of manatee research, education, and outreach in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Sighting reports from the public make a difference!


Help us find, study, and protect these wide-ranging animals! For more information on this study please visit our project page.

  Report manatee sightings 24 hours a day:

  • On-line at manatee.disl.org
  • Call toll free: 1-866-493-5803
  • Email manatee@disl.org  ​

Manatees in Halls Mill Creek, AL 2013
Credit:MSN Contributor

Please give as much of the following information as possible:

  • Date and time of sighting (military time 24 hr clock)
  • Location of sighting with as much detail as possible, including an associated street address, waterway name, and (if possible) GPS coordinates
  • Name and phone number or e-mail address of reporting party
  • Number of animals and approximate size
  • Any distinguishing marks, scars (these details are important because manatees can be identified by scar patterns)
  • What they were doing (swimming, floating, foraging; improve your sighting by using standard behavior codes)
  • How they were spotted (from boat, dock, etc.)
  • Please send a photograph/.jpg, if one was taken (but don't get too close to the manatees).

All Reports to DISL's Manatee Sighting Network will automatically be reported to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Daphne, AL.

  • Manatees need plenty of space. Please do not do anything to alter their natural behavior, entice, scare, or "harass" them.
  • The best rule of thumb is to stay at least 100 feet from manatees.
  • If you spot one, don't chase them, feed them, or touch them; give us a call as soon as possible, and we will get to work!