For many years I have admired manatees, one of Florida’s most endangered creatures. To share my interest in these marine mammals with readers I even mentioned them in one of the Weeia Series urban fantasy books.
These gentle creatures should be observed without disrupting their natural behavior, according to Save the Manatee Club, a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) based in Florida – click to enlarge
I’ve been wanting to show you how special these marine animals are, but my photos from shore don’t display the manatees to their best advantage. Today, I have the pleasure of sharing with you manatee photos courtesy and copyright of (c) Patrick M. Rose, Save the Manatee Club, and the information below about Florida manatees from Janice Nearing, director of Public Relations, Save the Manatee Club in Maitland, Florida. Thank you Janice (and Patrick)!
A Florida manatee close up – click to enlarge
A large gray creature inhabits Florida’s winding inland rivers, freshwater springs, and salty estuaries and bays. This marine mammal is one of the most gentle and easy going in the entire animal kingdom – the manatee.
Manatees are slow-moving animals. They have no natural enemies, and it is believed they can live 60 years or more. Manatees are endangered and a high number of fatalities are from human-related causes. Most human-related manatee fatalities occur from collisions with watercraft. Other causes 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. Ultimately, loss of habitat is the most serious threat facing manatees in the United States today.
In 1981, Save the Manatee Club, a nonprofit advocacy group, was co-founded by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett to protect manatees for future generations. Sadly, the manatee population has suffered significant losses in recent years, particularly from cold stress and red tide outbreaks. Learn more about this fascinating animal and adopt-a-manatee at www.savethemanatee.org.