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Census Shows Record Number Of Florida Manatees

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Florida’s manatee population is rebounding.

Wildlife authorities counted a record number 6,000 manatees during an annual census in February.

Manatee populations have suffered in recent years. Among the worst-hit are manatees in the Indian River Lagoon in Brevard County, where water quality problems also have killed off dolphins and pelicans.

Holly Edwards of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the count is an encouraging sign for the endangered animals.

“Even with these mortality events that we’ve had recently we do see indications that the population is recovering, and I think that’s due to 20 or more years of some of the management actions that have been taken.”

She says slowing down motor boats and cleaning up waterways have helped.

The count exceeded the previous all-time high in 2010 by almost a thousand manatees.

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »