Another study commissioned by the federal government and the National Autonomous University of Mexico said the die-off was possibly the result of several factors, including rising water temperatures.
Spring and summer, winter and fall......there is no other thrill we have quite like seeing new babies in the Bay. We know that here in Crystal River they have a better chance of survival than anyplace else on the planet!!
This manatee swimming through a canal in Woodland Estates in Crystal River got a snoutful of gasoline as it came up for air.
In this short film from Dive Documentaries, tour operator Captain Broderick highlights the correct way to observe the creatures in their natural habitat.
They counted 3,731 manatees on Florida’s east coast and 2,400 manatees on the west coast of the state for a total of 6,131, according to a news release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg. That’s 500 fewer than last year’s total.
But now scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have developed the first laboratory test for detecting manatee DNA in water samples, so they can say with certainty where manatees live.
So far, 166 manatees have died statewide through March 2. Cold spells are to blame for 51 deaths.
The manatees of Crystal River and Homosassa are Florida manatees, which are a subspecies of the larger West Indian manatee population. They eat only plants, and in the warmer months, they rove up and down the Gulf and Atlantic coasts in search of food. The area does have resident manatees year-round, so summertime manatee sightings are possible, but the fact that they’re so mobile significantly lessens your chances.
Our highest count of manatees was done in mid-Jan and the aerial report was more than 800 manatees in the area!
A great video featuring mom & calf in Crystal River, Florida
This is the time of year manatees flock together to deal with dropping temps, amassing in springs and water discharge basins to take advantage of the (relatively) warmer waters.
During colder weather manatees prefer to sleep in shallow water for the warmth of the sun.
While the impacts from hurricanes are tragically obvious on land, it’s hard to imagine how it affects the ocean’s inhabitants. But it does. And in the case of a manatee from Tampa, Florida, this fall’s hurricanes were nearly fatal.
As air temperatures dipped below 30 degrees Fahrenheit at dawn on Monday, Fox 13 reported the waters where the manatees had gathered was a comfortable 73 degrees.
As autumn descends upon us, with the crisp air and cool winds, the manatees head up the Crystal River and into the King’s Bay Wildlife Refuge
Researchers say manatees are normally found in the warmer waters of Florida and the Caribbean, and are rare visitors to the Chesapeake Bay, especially outside the summer months.
With cooler temperatures approaching, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is reminding boaters to watch out for manatees seeking warmer water.
Our beloved manatees! Our low lying waterfront neighborhoods! Last year Hermine showed the horrible damage from a Cat 2 storm surge……how would it be during a Cat 4?? As many of us relocated and left the town we love, we wondered what we would return to.
Being an in-water Manatee Tour guide is my PASSION! It’s such a joy to meet people from all over the world and I consider it a true honor to introduce these visitors to my manatee friends. Seven days a week, all year round, not only do I get to visit with my favorite animals in the world, but I can share it with like-minded individuals that leave with a sense of wonder that’s difficult to express!
With the arrival of colder weather, manatee refuges and tour centers are preparing for the upcoming manatee season, which will see the mammals concentrate in warmer waters around the state and will last from Nov. 15 to March 31, 2017.