April 15, 2021

M - Manatees

Florida's state marine mammal is the manatee. They are nicknamed sea cows but are actually a distant relative to elephants. They are huge, slow, intelligent, peaceful, and gentle creatures. They love to interact with humans.

Photo taken at Mote Marine Aquarium, Sarasota Florida

Manatees were moved off the endangered list and downgraded to threatened in 2017. That was great news, but things aren't looking very good this year. As of today, 649 manatees have been found dead in Florida so far in 2021. Last year 637 were found the entire year. Sadly, there are always manatee deaths from boat injuries, but currently most of the manatees who have died this year are believed to be starving to death from a lack of seagrass due to water pollution.

I can imagine these numbers are about to go way up with the recent 200 million gallons of wastewater that have been dumped in Tampa Bay. I can't even imagine what kind of environmental impact that is going to have.

This is a heartbreaking topic for me and leaves me feeling so helpless. It's one more big red flag, like so many others across our country and our planet, warning us to do something and fast - before it's too late!

More Florida A to Z on the way tomorrow.

84 comments:

  1. How sad that these beautiful, gentle giants of the seas are threatened and starving because of pollution. Let's hope something will be done before it's too late. Have a great day, hugs, Valerie

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    1. It is so sad, I sure hope something will be done soon too. I hope you are starting to feel a bit better Valerie. Hugs!

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  2. ...intelligent, peaceful, and gentle creatures...they sound just like dolphins. So sad that their existence is threatened..and you are so right that something has to be done before too late.

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    1. They are just big giant sweethearts, it's heartbreaking.

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  3. Sad to read these climbing numbers.

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  4. How very sad that such a gently creature is threatened by starvation and pollution. I hope that something can be done to help them

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    1. I sure hope so too Ann. It breaks my heart!

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  5. Hello,
    I loved seeing the manatees, we went to a few places in Florida to see them in the wild.
    I recently heard they are in danger of pollution near the Tampa TECO plant. I enjoyed seeing them near Merritt Island and in the Everglades. Have a happy day!

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    1. It's horrible what they just did in Tampa and it will have all kinds of horrible environmental impacts.

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  6. That just makes my heart hurt.

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  7. Heartbreaking.
    WHEN we will realise that there is no Planet B.

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  8. We left in 2005 so I didn't know the numbers of manatees are decreasing. So very sad to hear. I remember a couple of years before we left there was a huge red tide. We took the boat out from Sanibel to Ft. Myers and it was heartbreaking to see so many dead manatee.

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    1. I specifically remember in 2005 the record was broken for manatee deaths at 300. I guess it's just gone higher and higher since then considering it was more than double that last year and looks like this year is going to be much, much worse. :(

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  9. We saw a manatee once in Florida. It was a nightlight for sure.

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  10. It makes my heart sad too, Martha. Mankind is so stupid... and selfish! ~Andrea xoxo

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    1. You know I totally agree with you. It's heartbreaking. :(

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  11. agree with you about the big red flag, it is heartbreaking that these amazing gentle giants are dying off from lack of food. agree with the other comment above about mankind being stupid and selfish..

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  12. Heartbreaking news about the manatees, Martha. Like you, I hope and pray something will be done to save them.

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  13. It is criminal what we humans are doing to the planet and the oceans. We are digging our own graves in the long run.

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    1. You are so right Debra. I don't know when humans are going to realize that.

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  14. Oh that is so sad, it horrifies me to think of all the trash and waste we produce daily, I wish Amazon would launch a massive recycling effort for all the zillions of boxes they send...
    Jenna

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    1. I wish someone would do something!!!

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  15. So sad about the Seagrass.

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  16. I love them so much and it makes my heart hurt that they are starving; we should be able to do better for our planet.

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  17. Love to see manatees. That is so sad about so many of them dying.

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    1. They will be gone before we know it at the rate they are dying, it's just horrible!

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  18. Now wait a minute, I just found you over at nance's and I'm again amazed that after all these years we've missed connecting with each other in blog land. So "hi!" again. [I'm not lurking btw, just fascinated by how connections happen.]

    As for manatees, gotta love them. They charm me with their girth and gentle faces.

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    1. I just came back to blogging last June after being gone for several years, but I am surprised we hadn't run into each other sooner. I do the same thing you do and click on those new to me to say hello. I guess we must have kept missing each other somehow!

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  19. Agree, agree, agree! Florida is blessed with such an incredible wealth and diversity of habitats and their species. It's incumbent upon them to be caretakers!

    And not just Florida; they do not exist in a vacuum. The surrounding ocean is everyone's responsibility as is the atmosphere. Big red flag is right.

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    1. Exactly Nance. I hate what's happening to our planet and I feel so helpless!

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  20. I have always loved manatees but I didn't know about the water pollution issue, although sadly, it doesn't surprise me. What have we done to our world?

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    1. We're destroying it little by little. It's so sad. :(

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  21. I'd no idea. That's heartbreaking!
    Here's a link to a cute song (#6). I remember when Armand came and played this at the Unity Church I used to attend while in Clearwater. https://www.armandandangelina.com/cd_im_a_disney_freak.php

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    1. It's awful Myra! I love the Hugh Manatee song, not that anyone has taken the advice *sigh*

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  22. Oh, that's so sad! It's terrible what humans are doing to this planet!

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  23. I was able to visit the Manatee park when I visited my son who lives in Florida. It is a beautiful park but when I was there the Manatees where not there.

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    1. I'm sorry you weren't able to see them when you were here. Hopefully next trip!

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  24. I've been reading about all the deaths, it's so tragic. For many years my daughter "adopted" Philip, from Blue Spring State Park. She would eagerly, with a bit of fear, read the newsletters to see if he safely returned each year. I just looked online, and he's still there!

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    1. I'm so glad he's still there Lisa! I'm terrified about how many more could perish in coming days.

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  25. I am fascinated by manatees and this news makes me very sad and frustrated. :(

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    1. It's horrible Margaret, completely heartbreaking.

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  26. I did not realize so many die each year, sad situation. Just one more reason to put a stop to all kinds of pollution in the world.

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    1. It's getting worse and worse all the time instead of better. :(

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  27. Even more sad, because they are such sweet creatures. -sighhhhhhhhhhh-

    πŸ’›πŸŒΌπŸŒ»πŸŒΌπŸ’›

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  28. It's tragic what human beings are doing to this beautiful planet.

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    1. I totally agree Joey. It's horrific!

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  29. It's really sad to know that so many of our fellow earth beings are being harmed by our own actions. Manatees, elephants, polar bears...it's a long, long list, isn't it?

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    1. It's a very long list and probably much longer than we even know. It is all so sad!

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  30. They really are big, fun to watch and rather slow too!

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    1. They are all of the above, and such sweet and gentle beings too!

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  31. What a terrible situation the Manatees find themselves in and all because of humans.

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    1. It really is terrible. Humans tend to destroy everything sooner or later.

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  32. What a shame the Manatees have to suffer because of people.
    They are such gentle graceful creatures. It must be wonderful to see them swimming around.

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    1. They are so beautiful to watch and such harmless creatures. It's so sad that they are suffering at the hands of humans.

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  33. Oh, that is so sad. I have never seen manatees in person, but they look cute in photos.

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    1. They are adorable and really gigantic creatures. I hope you'll get to see them someday.

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  34. It is so sad. Once again, man has found a way to ruin something good from nature.

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    1. Seems like humans ruin everything in one way or another. I wish people would wake up already!

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  35. It's amazing how something so big and "lumpy" can look so graceful in the water.

    We were boating once and pulled into a cove on the St. John's, dropped anchor and were napping a bit when the boat got bumped. Then it got bumped again. Some little beggers were hoping for snacks thrown overboard. It was a mama manatee and her baby.

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    1. They are amazingly graceful for such giant creatures. I don't think I've ever seen a baby manatee but sure would love too!

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  36. I saw manatees for the first time in 2018 and it was so awesome. I've read about the large death toll so far this year and am also heartbroken.

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    1. It is so sad. I'm so glad you were able to see them while they are still around. They may not be for long at the rate things are going. :(

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  37. The environmental impact of climate change, pollution, and all of it makes me feel helpless, too. What can one person do?

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    1. I feel the same way Liz, so helpless! It's up to the big corporations and politicians to really make a difference.

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  38. Very sad for the manatees. They are such cool animals.

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    1. It is beyond sad, they are so awesome!

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  39. That is so sad about the manatees...so strange that all of sudden there are so many. It is scary to think about.

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    1. It gets worse by the day Rose, it's horrible!

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  40. Hermoso manaties. Ojala cuidemos nuestro planeta. Bella entrada, te mando un beso
    Enamorada de las letras

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    1. I hope so too, something must be done quickly!

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  41. sad to read the number, some measures should be taken.

    40 inch wig

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  42. So sad! The marine life in your neck of the woods is certainly getting hammered with tragedy. :(

    Manatees are certainly interesting animals. Also interesting that they are a distant relative of the elephant, who I just heard on my trip to the coast is the only mammal with 4 knees - I haven't fact checked that yet :D

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    1. That's interesting, I've never heard that. I'm going to have to look it up too!

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