The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Wildlife Research Center of Kyoto University Research Associate Mumi Kikuchi

Establishing methods for evaluating adaptation by manatees reintroduced into Brazilian Amazon habitats

Research grant

Project Description

Establishing methods for evaluating adaptation by manatees reintroduced into Amazon habitats
Amazonian manatees, large aquatic mammals that inhabit the Amazon River in Brazil, are in particular danger of extinction. Individual manatees are being raised in captivity to protect them from dangers such as poaching, and then are reintroduced back into their natural habitat. This project is establishing methods for evaluating whether these individual manatees are making the necessary adaptation to the wild. Long-term monitoring is being carried out through a citizen participation program and by using sound to observe feeding behaviour. The project hopes to use this research to implement a sustainable reintroduction program. [Project No. R15-0030]

Ecosystems and the Symbiotic Society
Grant year
FY2015 Research Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2016 - March 2019
Grant amount
8,523,000 yen
Activity region
Using mechanical equipment to release a manatee into the river

Overview of the Organization

Mumi Kikuchi, Researcher
Project organization
Kyoto University
Wildlife Research Center
Mumi Kikuchi, associate researcher
Specialist field: behavioral ecology
Affiliated academic societies: Japanese Society of Bio-Logging Science, The International Society for Marine Mammalogy
Background: Received a doctorate in agriculture from the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences in 2010. Entered the University of Tokyo Fisheries Biology Laboratory in April 2010 and joined the CREST project at the Fisheries Research Agency's National Research Institute of Fisheries Engineering from 2012. Has been a research associate for the Wildlife Research Center of Kyoto University's SATREPS project since April 2014.
Research record
  • Kikuchi, M. et al. (2015) "Passive acoustic monitoring of Japanese spiny lobster stridulating sounds." Fisheries Science 81: 229-234.
  • Kikuchi, M. et al. (2014) "Detection of manatee feeding events by animal-borne underwater sound recorders." Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 94: 1139-1146.
  • Kikuchi, M. et al. (2011) "The implications of turning behaviour performed by Amazonian manatees after release into the wild." Journal of Ethology, 30: 187-190.
  • Kikuchi, M. et al. (2011) "The differences in behavioral responses to a net obstacle between day and night in captive manatees; does entanglement happen at night?" Fisheries Science, 77: 795-798.
  • Kikuchi, M. et al. (2010) "Application of acceleration data loggers to classify the behaviour of captive Amazonian manatees." Coastal Marine Science, 34: 24-30.
  • Kikuchi, M. et al. (2010) "Acquisition of gliding skills by Weddell seal pups during lactation." Polar Biology, 33: 1429-1435.