The Endangered Florida Manatee

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by chloecross12
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The Endangered Florida Manatee

Manatees are herbivores, with a diet consisting mostly of sea grasses and freshwater vegetation.

As of the most recent aerial survey flown in February 2015, there are at least 6,063 manatees in Florida.

Manatees in the United States are protected under federal law by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Manatees are gentle and slow-moving animals. Most of their time is spent eating, resting, and traveling.

Manatees are a migratory species. Within the U.S., they are concentrated in Florida in the winter. In summer months, they can be found as far west as Texas and as far north as Massachusetts, but summer sightings in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina are more common.

Most human-related manatee fatalities occur from collisions with watercraft. Other causes of human-related manatee mortality include being crushed and/or drowned in canal locks and flood control structures; ingestion of fish hooks, litter, and monofilament line; and entanglement in crab trap lines.

Manatees have no natural enemies, and it is believed they can live 60 years or more. As with all wild animal populations, a certain percentage of manatee mortality is attributed to natural causes of death such as cold stress, gastrointestinal disease, pneumonia, and other diseases. A high number of additional fatalities are from human-related causes.

The Endangered Florida Manatee


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