Florida Manatee Deaths Could Reach Record High - NBC10 Boston

Florida Manatee Deaths Could Reach Record High

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    Manatee Deaths on Track to Reach Record High

    According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there has been a jump in manatee deaths caused by boats.

    (Published Monday, July 15, 2019)

    The number of manatee deaths caused by watercraft could hit an all-time high in Florida this year.

    From the beginning of this year through June 21, 81 manatees have been killed by watercraft in Florida's waters. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say 59 manatees died during the same period in 2018.

    Wildlife officials say toxic red tide and chilly temperatures contributed to the sea cow deaths in 2018, but so far in 2019 the biggest threat to manatees are boats.

    The Save the Manatee Club says another reason may be because manatees were downlisted from endangered to threatened, which may cause people to think it's safe to exhibit less caution while boating.

    The Ocala Star-Banner reports a total of 300 manatees have been reported dead in Florida for the first half of the year.