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About Manatees

Updated on October 7, 2014

Save the Sea Cows!

Manatees are large mammals who live in the water. They look kind of like a walrus and weigh upwards of 1 ton! They move very slowly and usually cannot escape when boats swim near them. They often are injured or killed from boat collisions. Many adult Manatees have scars on their backs from being hit by the propellers of boats. These scars are sometimes used to identify the animals, sort of like a fingerprint.

Manatees are in danger of extinction. Their demise is largely due to injury from fishing boats. Some get caught in fishing nets, and they are hunted in some places for their meat. But the main threat is a simple fix: If you are boating in areas known for manatee population, go slowly, and with caution. The ocean belongs to all of us, and is a great and largely unexplored frontier. Let us conserve all life in our oceans by exercising caution!

Photo: NOAA

Adopt a Manatee
Adopt a Manatee

Jimmy Buffet's "Save the Manatee"

30 Years!

May 26, 1981, the first meeting of the "Save the Manatee" committee took place in Tallahassee. Save the Manatee Club, a national nonprofit organization, was co-founded thirty years ago by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett.

You Can Make a Difference! Adopt a Manatee!

Blue Springs State Park Blue Spring's natural spring maintains a year-round temperature of 72 degrees and is an attractive winter refuge for manatees who seek the spring waters when the surrounding river water temperatures become cold.

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park A rehabilitation facility for manatees who are recovering from injuries before being released back into the wild.

Tampa Bay Five manatees frequently seen in the Tampa Bay area and along the west coast of Florida are up for adoption.

East Coast two manatees have gained fame when they were documented as having traveled to the northeastern part of the United States

Alabama The most recent additions to Save the Manatee Club's adoption program are named Bama and Zewie, and they have been sighted in Alabama waterways each year since 2009.

337 manatee deaths were documented in 2008 - 90 were water-craft related deaths and there was a record high of 101 newborn deaths. Biologists documented 699 manatee deaths in 2010.

Jimmy Buffet's - Come Monday Video

If you see an injured manatee

DO immediately contact FWC; safely maintain visual contact with the manatee.

DON'T approach the manatee too closely.

DO provide a good description or get a photo of the manatee.

DON'T attempt to disentangle or assist the manatee yourself.

Endangered Manatee

Endangered Manatee
Endangered Manatee

All Things Manatee - Courtesy of Amazon

Ways to Help Manatees

1. When boating, wear

polarized sunglasses,

obey posted speed zones,

and stay in marked channels.

Don't motor through seagrass.

2. Don't throw fishing line, hooks, or trash in the water.

3. Don't touch or feed manatees or give them water.

4. Support manatee protection law

Manatees in the news

Good news or not so good, when I find something noteworthy about our Manatee friends, I'll add it here

Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge - The Safe Haven for Florida Endangered Manatees


Photo credit: David Hinkel

Manatees crossing over King Spring toward shallow waters.

The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge,established for the protection of endangered West Indian Manatee. Here are unspoiled and undeveloped habitat in Kings Bay, forming the headwaters of the Crystal River. The refuge preserves the warm water spring havens, which provide critical habitat for the manatee populations that migrate here each winter.

Do you have a concern about Manatees? - Speak your mind

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    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      4 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I love manatees. I used to go to SeaWorld just to watch them for an hour so. I even wrote a couple of poems about the, They are so special.

    • DreamingBoomer profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Kay 

      4 years ago from Jackson, MS

      That's awesome Catherine. I love that you are passionate about Manatees. We need more people to feel like you do!

    • DreamingBoomer profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Kay 

      4 years ago from Jackson, MS

      Thanks so much, Yvonne. I agree. They're so helpless really. We have to be proactive.

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L B 

      4 years ago from Covington, LA

      Keep up the good work! We must do everything we can to protect these gentle giants.

    • MJSchrader profile image


      6 years ago

      Love the manatees :) so sad how damaged they get from boats :( I still remember the scars on the ones I saw years ago

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for this lens, Karen. These beautiful mammals deserve our help!


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