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Manatee Deaths Increase as Season Starts

6:05 PM, Nov 26, 2018

Contributors

Gabriel Castaneda, Olivia Frain

Known as Florida's gentle giant, the manatee is usually found in the winter and early spring in Southwest Florida. Florida's warm waters make it the ideal environment for the manatee.

But sadly it hasn't been a good year for this giant mammal.

Manatee Deaths Increase as Season Starts

According to the FWC's 2018 Preliminary Manatee Mortality Report, 752 manatees have died as of November 17.

This report shows that almost 200 more manatees have died than last year, making 2018 the deadliest year for the manatee in the past five years.

The deaths of manatees are categorized into nine sections: watercraft, flood gate/lock, other human, perinatal, cold stress, natural, unrecovered, undetermined, and undetermined other.

The categories with the most deaths are watercraft with 109 deaths and natural with 190 deaths.

Another thing affecting the manatee is the red tide bloom. For several months Southwest Florida has seen how the bloom has devastated our marine life leaving tons of dead fish, birds, and manatees dead.

FWC has reported that 203 manatees have been affected by red tide. Within this number, 91 manatees tested positive for red tide and 112 are suspected of being affected by red tide. Tests are still being done, so these numbers are preliminary and might change.

If you happen to see a sick, injured, dead, or tagged manatee you can call FWC's Wildlife Alert Toll-Free number at 1-888-404-FWCC (1-888-404-3922).

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