It’s time for Manatee Protection

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Manatees (credit: Wildlife Foundation of Florida)

Manatees (credit: Wildlife Foundation of Florida)

Protect Manatees during cold temperatures

As water cool, Florida’s Gentle Giants migrate to warmer waters such as canals adjacent to power plant outflows or freshwater springs. Manatees are in severe danger if the water temperature gets to 68 degrees or lower – they can experience cold stress and possibly even death. If you’re a boater, be on the lookout for manatees during this time by scanning the water around your boat for mud trails, swirl patterns on the surface of the water, or a tail or snout breaking the surface.

Tips for Boaters

Here are safety precautions that boaters can use 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

Manatee Events

Named after the gentle giant, Manatee Springs State Park is holding a series of events this coming Saturday to increase public awareness about manatees during Manatee Awareness Month. It’s the warm waters that flow from the park’s main spring, Manatee Spring,  that are a warm winter haven at 72 degrees. Manatees prefer these warm mineral-rich waters temperatures in rivers can drop below 68 degrees. The park is holding an educational program to each people about manatee and how to protect them.

  • Highlight: Learn about manatees
  • When: Saturday, January 19, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m..
  • Where: 11650 N.W. 115th Street, Chiefland, Florida 32626
  • Cost: Included with park admission

Tell us…

Have you ever seen a manatee up close?