A Good Year for Manatees

Written by on January 10, 2013 in Marine Life, Other Marine Life

The good news: Florida manatee deaths decreased in 2012
The bad news: The threat to these endangered marine mammals still remains

This year, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recorded only 392 Florida manatee deaths. This is down from a record high of 766 in 2010, and 453 in 2011.

Manatee Zone.

Manatee Zone Sign. Photo credit: penut via photopin cc

Florida manatees, a subspecies of the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), have been federally protected since 1967 and their deaths have been recorded in Florida since 1974.

The current population is estimated to be between 4,000 and 5,000 individuals. While death rates are on the decline, they are still threatened by habitat loss from development and climate change and boat traffic. Contact with watercraft remains the number one killer of manatees, followed by cold weather stress.

To learn more:

Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus).

Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus) at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Florida. Photo credit: USFWS Endangered Species via photopin cc

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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