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Manatee Mortality Updates

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on February 9, 2021

Manatees are the pride of Florida’s Nature Coast with their gentle nature. Many people will visit a variety of manatee viewing centers to get a bit closer. Seeing a manatee has become a special part of any Florida visit. Sometimes the manatees are not protected in the way we would like though. Florida does a good job of sharing why we lose manatees and we have the manatee mortality updates to share with you.

Manatee Mortality Updates

How do manatees die?

There are a variety of ways that manatees can die. Some are from natural causes such as red tide, gastrointestinal disease, pneumonia, cold stress, and other diseases. Some die from man-made structures trapping them, such as flood gates or canal locks.

Human activities can also contribute to manatee deaths with items such as watercraft collisions, fishing nets, and even poaching. While the reasons vary, understanding them can help us to protect manatees more effectively.

Where can I learn more about mortality rates?

For an overall view of the different counties, you will want to go here:
The 2019 manatee mortality reports have been finalized.  The finalized 2019 mortality table has been posted and the information can be viewed at https://myfwc.com/research/manatee/rescue-mortality-response/statistics/mortality/yearly/.

You can also find a searchable database for all Florida counties using the below information:
The Manatee Mortality Web Search has been updated with finalized data through December 2019. The website allows users to search manatee mortalities by county, month, year, and cause of death and may be viewed at https://public.myfwc.com/FWRI/ManateeReport/UserMainMenuForm.aspx.

What can be viewed in the manatee database?

The manatee database linked above will give you the ability to look into manatee deaths based on year, cause, and county. This can help if you are looking to understand better how humans impact the manatee population. It can also help you understand how environmental components impact their mortality rates.

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park has just welcomed Betsy, the manatee, back home on October 17, 2017.

How can I help protect manatees?

While some manatee deaths are natural, some have a great deal to do with how people use the waterways. Taking the time to clean up fishing lures, watching more carefully when boating, and being aware of your surroundings when fishing can be a game-changer for manatees. Please take the time to clean up the beach and waterways when you are done using them.

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