Hi Guys, I promised in a previous post: “A Special Day…Boating to Lunch” more info on Manatees so here it is…..
These big bodied mammals with a face only a mother should love are on the brink of extinction! There are several reasons why. One reason is the boat motor injuries as these trusting, curious creatures swim close to boats as if to say …”welcome to the waterways, do you want to be my friend?” The response by some boaters is to speed by them clipping their tails or other parts of their huge bodies with the rudders of their boats. It is sad!
Another reason for the limited number of days in these waters, is they are kind of like me….they need warmth in the Winter time !!!
Florida manatees can’t survive in the cold; they may die when water temperatures drop below 68°. so when a cold snap hits Florida, the Manatees are the casualties. They hover in huge groups near any heat source such as a power plant. They are vegetarians and eat salt water sea grasses, algae, red mangrove seedlings and other aquatic plants.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the last three years, have had a high number of cold related deaths. An increase of an average of 30 deaths a year since 2009.
In 2010 a reported 766 Manatees died, some due to cold weather and others were related to injuries, mostly by boaters….and believe it or not, fishing line.
Despite federal and state efforts to protect the manatee, the future of this endangered species is far from assured.