manatees

This year hasn't been a good one for the Florida manatee.

According to state wildlife statistics, there have been more manatee deaths so far this year than all of last year.

Florida wildlife officials say they’ve received many calls of manatees in distress all over the state. But, officials say a lot of times, the sea cows are just mating.

A watchdog groups say Florida is on pace for another record year for manatee deaths.

As Florida experiences unusually cold temperatures and even snow in some parts, wildlife officials are keeping a close eye on vulnerable manatees and sea turtles.

Miami Herald

It’s that time of year when manatees start to take ‘snowbird’ vacations and become South Floridians for the winter months.  

Two manatees were stranded after Hurricane Irma sucked the water out of Sarasota Bay, in Manatee County.

An outside review has determined that the drowning death of Snooty the Manatee could have been prevented.

South Florida Museum CEO Brynne Anne Besio announced the findings Thursday in Bradenton after a review by animal welfare attorney James Gesualdi.

A Florida group trying to preserve Confederate monuments is backing a new effort: erecting a statue of Snooty the manatee.

Two days after his 69th birthday, Snooty the manatee has died in what the South Florida Museum says was "simply a heartbreaking accident." The manatee drowned after being trapped by a hatch door, officials said Sunday.

Snooty was the oldest manatee in captivity — and he was believed to be the oldest on record, according to the South Florida Museum, which houses the Parker Manatee Aquarium in Bradenton, Fla.

"Aquarium staff is heartbroken," said Jeff Rodgers, the museum's provost and chief operating officer.

The Miami Herald

This week on The Florida Roundup...

With less than three weeks left to go in Florida's 2017 Legislative Session, state Senate leaders have found themselves suddenly confronted with arguably the most uncomfortable situation they've had to face in some time.

Red Huber, MCT via Miami Herald

Things are looking up for Florida's manatees.

The West Indian manatee has long been considered "endangered"-- a species on life support. But at the end of March, federal officials changed the manatees' status to “threatened,” which means their condition is less critical. In early 2017, officials counted more than 6,000 manatees in Florida’s waters.

Sure, the news from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service arrived just a little late for Manatee Appreciation Day — but it's unlikely the gentle finned blimp will be too upset about the belated gift: The announcement that the agency is removing the West Indian manatee from the list of endangered species is welcome, no matter when it arrives.

One of the symbols of Florida is no longer an endangered species. That's according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which announced Thursday they're downlisting the manatee from endangered to threatened. Manatees have been classified as endangered since the first federal endangered species list was issued in 1967.

More manatees than ever - 6,300 - were counted during the winter, when they congregate around springs and warm power plant outfalls. But last year, more than one hundred manatees were killed, mostly by boaters.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Seagrass in Florida Bay has died off rapidly over the past couple of years. About 40,000 acres have been lost, harming the habitat of animals from manatees to toadfish and imperiling the area's fishing industry.

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