Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Urge Citizens to Help Stranded Manatees
By Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission // September 4, 2020
call Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC
(FWC) – One of our shorebird biologists came across a stranded manatee, but she knew not to push it back, and immediately called our hotline for assistance.
The Marine Mammal Response Team arrived, and determined the manatee was stranded due to low tide. With help from law enforcement, they kept her shaded, conducted a health assessment, and waited with the manatee for water levels to rise, allowing her to swim out of the lagoon.
The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is a native species found in many of Florida’s waterways.
The Florida manatee population has grown to a minimum of 7,520 animals today and as a result, the species was reclassified from an endangered to a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act in May, 2017.
Florida manatees are considered one of the state’s keystone species whose behavior can alert researchers to the environmental and habitat changes that may otherwise go unnoticed in Florida’s waterways for extended periods of time.
Please browse the manatee program web pages to find out more about this unique imperiled species.
Florida manatees were first protected through Florida State Law in 1893.
Manatees are protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act (§379.2431(2), Florida Statutes) and are federally protected by both the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.
FWC continues to protect and conserve manatees and their habitat through the Manatee Management Plan and programs operated in the Division of Habitat and Species Conservation (Imperiled Species Management Section and Aquatic Habitat Conservation & Restoration Section), the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, and the Division of Law Enforcement.
If you see an injured, dead, stranded or sick manatee, text or email firstname.lastname@example.org, call our Wildlife Alert hotline 888-404-FWCC (3922).