About Florida: Manatees ready to begin migration to warmer water

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Manatees (credit: Wildlife Foundation of Florida)

Manatees (credit: Wildlife Foundation of Florida)

 

Florida News: November is Manatee Awareness Month

The temperature is getting cooler and as a result, Florida’s beloved manatees are migrating to warmer waters. These large marine mammals start their migration towards water waters during the month of November, which often means they’re looking for canals adjacent to power plant outflows or freshwater springs.

Manatees are susceptible to cold temperatures and when they’re in water 68 degrees or lower in temperature, the mammals can experience cold stress and possibly even death.

November is Manatee Awareness Month

Because of this manatee migration, November marks Manatee Awareness Month in Florida in an effort to help boaters take necessary precautions to avoid injuring these beautiful mammals. Last year, 453 dead manatees were found in state waters.

The seasonal manatee protection zone went into effect in Florida this year on November 15.

Boating Safety Tips To Protect Manatees

You should know how to spot a manatee. Scan the water around your boat or watercraft for signs of manatees. Those signs would be a mud trail, swirl patterns on the surface of the water, or a tail or snout breaking the surface of the water. Manatees congregate in warm water and in seagrass beds. Boaters are asked to slow down in these types of areas.

Here are some additional safety precautions boaters can take to help protect manatees.

  • Wear polarized sunglasses
  • Keep your vessel in marked channels
  • When close to manatees, use paddles, poles or trolling motors
  • Stick to posted boat speed zones

Other ways to help manatees

Don’t try to ride manatees which can cause distress or injury.

If you see a sick or injured manatee, an entangled or orphaned manatee, or a manatee in any amount of distress, report it to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert hotline by calling 888-404-FWCC (3922).

Tell us…

Have you ever seen a manatee?