Featured Image Credit: USGS, Brd, Sirenia
By: Sarah Sharkey
November is Manatee Awareness Month. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is urging everybody to be mindful of manatees as they migrate towards warmer waters. You could save a manatee’s life by just paying attention to your surroundings while out on the water.
There are more than 6,600 manatees that call Florida home. These lovable and slow moving creatures come to the surface to breathe, which is when many boating incidents with manatees occur. Many of the seasonal protection zones go into effect on November 15th, but due to Hurricane Irma, some of the signs may still be missing or damaged. General caution in areas known for manatees would be very appreciated by the manatees and those who are trying to save them.
Earlier this year the manatee was reclassified as threatened. While this is a big step in the right direction (from endangered to threatened), the manatee is still on the path to recovery. It is vital that we remain focused on helping these gentle giants fully recover.
A few way you can do this include watching out for manatees as they head for warmer water, slow down while boating, observe manatees from a distance if you are lucky enough to see one and report anything that looks not okay (injuries, death, orphaned calves) to FWC’s Wildlife Alert hotline: 888-404-FWCC.
Learn more from our source.