November is Manatee Awareness Month

This group of three West Indian manatees (Tric...

Officially, it’s Manatee Awareness Month in the state of Florida, and the manatees are on the move.  Save the Manatee are calling for the public to rise to the occasion again, and help this dignified and majestic marine mammal to get where it wants to go to. 

It certainly can’t be said this gentle creature has had the best of years in 2013.  The death toll has been extremely high. Two unusual algal blooms and the usual water craft accidents took out either them or their food supply, depleting their numbers by seven hundred and seventy-one by the beginning of November.  The deadliest year ever recorded.

Now winter is almost upon us and the manatees need food and shelter in warmer waters. In 2010, hundreds of manatees died from cold stress.  They cannot tolerate sustained temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit.  It is imperative they get to their destination before the temperatures fall too low.

Each year they migrate back to Florida to their warm winter sites.  The safety of this already endangered species is paramount.

Here’s how you can help to see them securely along the rivers, canals and coastlines.

ManateeIf you use any form of water craft, slow down for migrating manatees.

Don’t attempt to feed them.  These awesome creatures don’t need to be encouraged to stay. Leave them to migrate.  If they stay, they will die.

Stick with the marked channels.

Wear polarized sunglasses.  These will improve your vision as manatees can be difficult to see in the water, despite their size.

Heed speed protection zones  –  They come into effect this week on November 15th.

Use poles, paddles or trolling motors when close to manatees.

Look out for rippling circles which the manatees create when they are just below the surface.

You can also blog like mad about them, helping to spread awareness of the manatees and their annual migration.

Eastern Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico residents and boating communities are asked to report any sightings of the endangered marine mammals to their local Marine Mammal Stranding Network.  Stranding network phone numbers are posted at NOAA Fisheries

To report an injured, harassed, or dead manatee in Florida, call the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922)


Help the noble manatee to stay alive

Here are some great links with oodles of further information::
Save the Manatee
Defenders of Wildlife
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Related articles:
Boaters cautioned to watch for migrating manatees (
FWC: Manatees headed to warmer waters (
Florida manatees dying at record rates, 769 Have died thus far (

23 thoughts on “November is Manatee Awareness Month

  1. Pingback: A Manatee Mission | Jet Eliot

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  3. 771?? Did I read that right? One rough population estimate I read said gave their total numbers in the US as 1500. Oh, sad, sad, gentle souls!

  4. Thank you for this beautiful and important reminder, Amelia. How fragile their path is, how sorrowful their fate. True, as you commented before, motor boats and water activity pose a great risk and it is up to concientious humans to create a haven for these noble beings to have a safe journey back home. They are very sweet!.

  5. So sad to hear how many more manatees have died. I was in Fla. a few years ago and had the pleasure of seeing manatees. I’ll write a post about it sometime in the future. Thanks for heightening awareness of this very cool animal.

    • I agree, Jet. It is terribly sad. There are so few anyway. Hopefully, the awareness of the migration campaign has been successful and they will all arrive safely at some point. I will look forward to your post. I must admit, the manatee is my all-time favourite marine mammal 🙂

  6. I love Manatees, when we moved to Florida 20+ years ago I feel that I saw them far more often than I do today. There is something very gentle about them. Thanks Amelia as always what a cool post!

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