Speakers of the Wild

Special Event Series

Speakers of the Wild

This new event series features fascinating discussions of wildlife & wild places. Learn more about our amazing animals and the conservation programs dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and care of threatened and endangered species from Florida and across the globe. Each program features a new interesting topic, an animal mingle, drinks, appetizers, and a moderated Q&A session with the experts.

A pair of manatees swim and hold hands

Manatee Conservation

All Ages
Thursday, November 18th, 2021
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Bob Bonde from the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Bob Bonde

Take a dive into the world of manatee conservation with two leading researchers: Dr. Holly Edwards and Bob Bonde.

Dr. Edwards is an Assistant Research Scientist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s marine mammal section where she leads the manatee aerial survey program. Her more recent research involves using manatee telemetry and manatee diving data to estimate risk of boat-manatee collisions, assessing the impacts of climate change on Florida manatees, and estimating manatee abundance and assessing distribution from aerial surveys.

Bob Bonde has been studying manatees for more than 34 years. Currently he works as a research biologist for the Sirenia Project of the U.S. Geological Survey in Gainesville. His duties include life history monitoring of the manatee population in Crystal River, consulting with the NOAA-Fisheries Working Group for Unusual Marine Mammal Mortality Events on issues related to necropsy assessment of the stranded marine mammals, participation in the USFWS Manatee Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Release Program, and supervising manatee genetic studies and biomedical health assessment. Bonde also chairs the Florida Manatee Genetics Research Working Group.

Program Includes:
  • Animal mingle
  • Appetizers provided by Red Lobster, our official food & beverage sponsor
  • 1 drink ticket for a featured cocktail/alcoholic beverage
  • Presentation by FWC's Dr. Holly Edwards along with Bob Bonde from the U.S. Geological Survey's Wetland & Aquatic Research Center
  • Q&A with guests and panel

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COVID Safety Information

  • Masks are required to participate in this event, except when eating or drinking. Disposable masks are available at no cost.
  • ZooTampa is principally an outdoor fresh-air experience; therefore, when outside, guests who maintain proper social distance are not required to wear face masks. Even so, every guest entering the Zoo is strongly encouraged to wear a mask. Disposable masks are available at no cost. Guests will be informed of venues/experiences where masks are required.
  • To ensure safety, participants agree to abide by Zoo safety protocols including social distancing and healthy hygiene practices.
  • Guests will have their temperature checked at the Zoo’s entrance. Anyone with a temperature above 100.4 degrees will not be admitted. If you feel sick, please stay home and seek proper medical care.