Posted by: stiltsville | January 8, 2010

Manatee deaths

Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute documented 429 manatee carcasses in state waters in 2009. A combination of factors contributed to the high total, as indicated by record high numbers in several of the categories of manatee deaths.

The high number of manatees affected by cold stress during the winter months of 2008-2009 can, in part, explain the higher-than-average number of manatee deaths last year. Biologists documented a record high of 56 cold stress-related deaths in 2009, which was more than double the five-year average.

Biologists also documented high numbers of watercraft-related and perinatal (newborn) deaths – the two most commonly documented causes of death in 2009. Biologists documented 97 watercraft-related deaths and 114 newborn deaths. The preliminary data indicate the numbers for both categories were at a record high for a calendar year.

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