Defenseless Manatees Need your Help!
The situation for manatees has become critical.
Last year, at least 830 of these gentle giants perished from the effects of algal blooms, boat strikes and other threats. As warmer weather elevates threats from boats and toxins, we need to take every possible step to ensure these captivating animals’ survival.
Facing a barrage of threats, America’s beloved gentle giants are being overcrowded when they try to seek refuge in natural springs in Kings Bay in Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.
Throngs of boaters, snorkelers and kayakers mob the entrances to warm water springs where Florida manatees seek to escape cold winter waters. Too often, the manatees are grabbed, groped and harassed by inquisitive tourists. Sometimes, the manatees are unable to reach or are pushed out of the warm water springs they need to survive. There have even been instances when mothers were separated from their dependent calves by careless visitors.
Defenders and our allies are asking FWS to:
- Protect Three Sisters Springs as a full winter manatee sanctuary;
- Create additional sanctuaries at House and Jurassic Springs; and
- Implement and enforce a strict no-touch policy in these areas, as exists throughout other manatee habitat, to stop the harassment of these endangered animals.
FWS knows there’s a problem. In fact, other federal agencies have repeatedly asked FWS to take further action to reduce harassment of Florida manatees seeking refuge in Kings Bay. It’s past time for them to extend protection for manatees in these vital warm water areas of Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.