0

More manatees have died already this year than in any other year in ’s recorded history, primarily from starvation due to the loss of seagrass beds, state officials have said.

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission reported that 841 deaths were recorded between 1 January and 2 July, breaking the previous record of 830 that died during the whole of 2013 because of an outbreak of toxic red tide.

More than half the deaths occurred in the Indian River Lagoon and its surrounding areas in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St Lucie and Martin counties, according to regional news outlet TCPalm. The overwhelming majority of deaths have been in Brevard, where 312 manatees have died.

Some biologists believe water pollution is killing the seagrass beds in the area.

“Unprecedented manatee mortality due to starvation was documented on the Atlantic coast this past winter and spring,” Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute wrote as it announced the record on Friday. “Most deaths occurred during the colder months when manatees migrated to and through the Indian River Lagoon, where the majority of seagrass has died off.”

Boat strikes are also a major cause of manatee deaths, killing at least 63 this year.

The manatee was once classified as by the federal government, but it was reclassified as in 2017. Environmentalists are asking that the animal again be considered endangered.

The federal government says approximately 6,300 manatees live in Florida waters, up from about 1,300 in the early 1990s.

This article was first published by The Guardian on 12 July 2021. Lead Image: A record number of manatee deaths have been reported so far already this year in Florida. Photograph: Scott Audette/Reuters.


What you can do

Support ‘Fighting for Wildlife’ by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute. Thank you.



Fighting for Wildlife supports approved wildlife conservation organizations, which spend at least 80 percent of the money they raise on actual fieldwork, rather than administration and fundraising. When making a donation you can designate for which type of initiative it should be used – wildlife, oceans, forests or climate.


Source link


Like it? Share with your friends!

0

What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
0
hate
confused confused
0
confused
fail fail
0
fail
fun fun
0
fun
geeky geeky
0
geeky
love love
0
love
lol lol
0
lol
omg omg
0
omg
win win
0
win

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *