Florida tops 1,000 manatee deaths in grim single-year record
Dying Manatees FILE - A manatee comes up for air is it swims in the Stranahan River, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on April 2, 2020. More than 1,000 manatees have died in Florida so far in 2021, eclipsing a previous record as the threatened marine mammals struggle with starvation due to polluted waters. The 1,003 manatee deaths so far in 2021 is many more than the 637 recorded last year and well above the previous mark of 830 set in 2013. "Manatees are in serious trouble," ZooTampa at Lowry Park, one of four main manatee critical care centers in Florida, said in a statement Wednesday. The wildlife commission estimates there are currently about 7,500 manatees, also known as sea cows, living in Florida waters.wftv.com
Merritt Island park now a ‘manatee graveyard’ as Florida sea cows starve to death
MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – Scientists say Florida’s most enamored marine mammal is starving to death, News 6 partner Florida Today reports. That includes 169 dead manatees (42%) in Brevard County. Because of COVID-19 rules, a state lab tasked with examining dead manatees has only been able to salvage and examine 30% of the remains. “This is not the usual type of animal we see.”Half of the dead manatees are adults, she said. To report a sick, injured or dead manatee, contact the FWC hotline at 888-404-3922, and press *7 to speak with an operator.
Experts puzzled over huge spike in Florida manatee deaths
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a huge spike in manatee deaths across the state while biologists and other experts are left wondering why so many of the threatened species are dying. In the first six weeks of 2021, there were 317 manatee deaths across the state, according to the FWC. That’s almost half of all deaths reported in Florida for all of last year when 638 manatees died. Boaters are urged to call FWC if they see a manatee in distress so they can come out and help. You can also donate to the Save the Manatee Club for research and find more ways to help at their website, www.savethemanatee.org.
Pandemic and more boats have not been good to Florida manatees
They are as synonymous with Florida as flamingo’s Manatees or as they are sometimes called, sea cows, love the tropical weather and warm waters of Florida. Powell shares his knowledge of these gentle giants and tells us how the pandemic has likely had an adverse affect on them. By some estimates there are about 13,000 manatees on the planet with about half of those living in the southeastern U.S. While boating is good for those who are feeling cabin fever during the pandemic, it has not been good for manatees. “We had seen it in Blue Spring, we had actually seen it up in north Florida and I think even Georgia,” Powell said.
Free Wheelie: Manatee returns to Blue Spring without tire around waist
ORANGE CITY, Fla. – A manatee that a year ago was seen swimming around Blue Spring State Park with a bicycle tire cinching its waist has returned to the crystal clear waters free of the trap. Officials from Save the Manatee Club said Friday they don’t know how the manatee managed to shake the tire lose but they mentioned that Wheelie, as the manatee was called by the public, was struck by a boat’s propeller in February and that strike cut and weakened the tire. Also called Schwinn by researchers, the manatee now has deep scars around its midsection where the bike tire was once entangled. Wheelie the manatee now has scars from where a bike tire was stuck around its waist. Save the Manatee Club manatee research associate Cora Berchem first spotted Wheelie on Wednesday on an above-water livestreaming webcam.
Save the Manatee Club in need of manatee observers at Blue Spring State Park
The Save the Manatee Club, in partnership with Blue Spring State Park, Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute and Volusia County, is in need of volunteers to be manatee observers. The volunteer program operates from March to November at Blue Spring State Park because that is “swim season” when park visitors may come in contact with manatees. The volunteers are there to “help prevent manatee harassment and to educate visitors about proper behavior around manatees. Two mandatory training sessions are scheduled at Blue Spring State Park on March 5 and March 14 at 10 a.m. for two to three hours. To sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your preferred training date and whether you’d like a kayak training session.
For the love of god stop killing Florida's manatees
click to enlarge screengrab via Save the Manatees/YouTubeHey, Florida boaters: stop. Please just stop. Stop mowing down our plump, precious sea cow friends every time you want to go out for a cruise.Just the other day, the beloved Dix was struck and killed at Blue Springs State Park. There had only been 59 manatees deaths caused by watercraft in the same time period last year.The population numbers for manatees are improving. Manatees were recently downgraded from endangered to threatened, but we have to keep protecting Florida's favorite marine mammal if we want it to stay that way.orlandoweekly.com
Beloved Central Florida manatee Dix found dead after watercraft collision
click to enlarge screengrab via Save the Manatees/YouTubeDix the manatee, one of the stars of Blue Spring State Park, was recently found dead in DeLand, just north of the springs.After assessing her injuries, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says that she died from an acute watercraft collision.Dix rose to fame by bringing three calves into the Blue Spring area, fearlessly hanging around an alligator, and being an overall friendly creature adored by visitors and locals alike.The death of this popular manatee highlights an escalating problem: More manatees than usual are getting struck and killed by boats.According to the FWC, Volusia County has the third highest watercraft-related manatee death rate in Florida, behind only Lee and Broward counties. Over 120 manatees died because of collisions in 2018, according to the FWCs manatee mortality report "The number of manatees getting hit by boats this year has really gone up. Overall, we had 300 manatees being killed this year, and out of those, 81 of those manatees were killed by boats," Cora Bercham of the Save the Manatee Club said to Spectrum News As manatee populations increase in Blue Spring and surrounding areas, watercraft-related manatee deaths also increase, according to Berchem. Summer is when manatees migrate, so they are not as concentrated in springs as they are during manatee season.orlandoweekly.com