Home > Animal Rights > Manatee tragedy in Florida

Manatee tragedy in Florida

November 16, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

The last report I received painted a grim picture, 772 manatees have died this year – a record number of deaths and a gigantic toll for an animal whose total population is estimated around 5,000 animals.

They are victims of a perfect and deadly storm – habitat loss, pollution, boat collisions and to make matters worse many manatees have died from the two unusual algal blooms, one on each coast!

This is why I’ve reached out to you. We need your help. Will you make a generous donation today to support our work in Florida to protect endangered manatees and other efforts on behalf of imperiled wildlife?

Toxic red tide bloom on the Gulf coast and the “brown tide” in the Indian River Lagoon on the east coast has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Florida manatees.

These unusual algal blooms, coupled with the increasing number of human-caused threats that manatees continue to face, have resulted in an unprecedented and highly disturbing death toll. 

With winter fast approaching, manatees could face a number of other grave dangers. Because residential development has greatly reduced the natural warm water springs used by manatees to keep them alive in the winter months, nearly sixty percent of the population now depends on warm-water outfalls at electric power plants. Meaning a cold snap in Florida could wipe out even more of these gentle giants. 

Help ensure a future for Florida’s manatees by donating today.

With your generous support, Defenders is working in manatee country to help these animals survive. We can’t control the toxic tides that have caused much of the harm in 2013, but we can work to reduce other sources of harm:

  • Defenders helped establish slow speed zones in areas frequented by the animals. Boat strikes have historically been the major human cause of manatee deaths, and we continue to work to educate boaters on how to watch out for manatees;
  • We are working with state officials to protect the sources of warm spring water that manatees depend on to survive winter cold;
  • We are advocating for expanding protected areas that conserve  sea grass beds and other habitats that are critical to the manatees’ survival;
  • And we defend the Endangered Species Act from those who seek to weaken protection for manatees and other listed species.

The manatee is Florida’s state marine mammal. A sighting or encounter with these curious and gentle creatures is an unforgettable experience. It’s up to all of us to make sure we continue to make room for manatees in our world.

  1. November 16, 2013 at 10:33
  2. November 18, 2013 at 21:04

    This is important to know. Thanks for sharing

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