"Habitat and Range: Manatees can be found in shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, and coastal areas particularly where seagrass beds or freshwater vegetation flourish. Manatees are a migratory species. Within the United States, they are concentrated in Florida in
the winter. In summer months, they can be found as far west as Texas and as far north as Massachusetts, but summer sightings in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina are more common.
West Indian manatees can also be found in the coastal and inland waterways of Central America and along the northern coast of South America, although distribution in these areas may be discontinuous." www.savethemanatee.org/manfcts…
(quoted - save the manatee link)
Lifespan, Mortality, Population: West Indian manatees have no natural enemies, and it is believed they can live 60 years or more. As with all wild animal populations, a certain percentage of manatee mortality is attributed to natural causes of death such as cold stress, gastrointestinal disease, pneumonia, and other diseases. A high number of additional fatalities are from
human-related causes. Most human-related manatee fatalities occur from collisions with watercraft. Other causes of human-related manatee mortality include being crushed and/or drowned in canal locks and flood control structures; ingestion of fish hooks, litter, and monofilament line; and entanglement in crab trap lines. Ultimately, loss of habitat is the most serious threat facing the approximately 3,800 manatees in the United States today."
Legal Protection: West Indian manatees in the United States are protected under federal law by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, and the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which make it
illegal to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal. West Indian manatees are also protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978. Violations of these federal or state laws
can be met with civil or criminal convictions associated with monetary fines and/or imprisonment.
Conservation: The Florida Manatee Recovery Plan was developed as a result of the Endangered Species Act. The recovery plan is coordinated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and sets
forth a list of tasks geared toward recovering manatees from their current endangered status." www.savethemanatee.org/manfcts… (quoted - save the manatee link)
"Destruction and degradation of their coastal and freshwater habitat. The leading known cause of death is by boat strikes; propellers and hulls inflict serious or mortal wounds. Most manatees have a pattern of scars on their backs or tails after surviving collisions with boats. Scientists use these patterns to identify individuals. Manatees are also vulnerable to cold water.They have been found crushed or drowned in flood-control gates and suffer harm from exposure to toxic red tide. In addition, a large number of manatees die from unknown causes each year."
www.defenders.org/wildlife_and… (quoted -defenders of wildlife link)
*fully aware how amatuer these are - they were some of the first I posted here haha but since they fit in...here they are *