The number of manatee deaths in Florida this year has already exceeded the total for all of 2017. Blame Red Tide, which is suspected of killing more than 100 of them.
More than 160 sea cows have died in 2018, a pace that could set a record, according to environmental group.
The wild manatee population continues to grow and Boerner hopes the study will help continue that trend.
When sick or injured manatees are brought to rehabilitation facilities, you can feed them to increase their weight, provide the best available treatments and look at blood work, but we don’t have ways to assess some important physiological parameters such as energy cost,” said Senior Mote Aquarium Biologist Kat Boerner. “To provide more data to fine-tune rehabilitation, we want to better understand how much energy a healthy manatee burns, which gives us a better idea of the caloric intake needed for an animal of a given size.
'Manatees are sentient beings, loving touch of many forms, especially between mother and child. This video of momma and baby offers a clear view of his fin nails....many people do not know they have finger-like bones with nails!'
The species can also be pretty friendly, as demonstrated by the curious manatee nuzzling the diver.
Biologists counted 6,620 manatees in February 2017, which is a baseline number and not an actual population estimate.
It’s a strange world we live in when we celebrate the idea that a species might actually survive through the next century. It’s all become so fragile that small victories can feel like big wins – but regardless, a new study predicting that Florida’s iconic manatees can survive another 100 years is cause for cheer.
Over the years, about 263 manatees have been captured and studied. The scientists estimate the size of the group that migrates to the Crystal River area to be around 600.
Manatees — those comically blimp-like “sea cows” whose gentle, lumbering ways also made them susceptible to the threats that nearly killed them off as a species — are no longer endangered.