Tags: manatee | population | record | florida

Manatee Population Record at All-Time High in Florida: Report

Image: Manatee Population Record at All-Time High in Florida: Report
Manatees try to stay warm as they swim in the springs of Crystal River, Florida February 18, 2015. (Ellen Cuylaerts/HotSpot/Landov)  

By    |   Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 02:51 PM

The manatee population in Florida has hit a record high, according to Fish and Wildlife Research Institute biologists who released an annual population survey Monday.

Researchers in sea planes counted 6,063 manatees along Florida’s coasts, UPI reported.

"In many of the regions surveyed, warm, sunny weather caused manatees to rest at the water's surface, which facilitated our efforts to count them in these areas," state biologist Holly Edwards said, according to UPI. "Calm waters and high visibility also contributed to the high count."

Scientists are encouraged by the high count because death totals have also been high in recent years, with collisions with boats being a prominent contributing factor. Researchers accounted for more than 800 deaths of manatees in 2013, the largest death toll yet.

“Counting this many manatees is wonderful news,” the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Chairman Richard Corbett said in a statement. “The high count this year shows that our long-term conservation efforts are working.”

This year’s count of manatees surpasses the previous record set in 2010 by about 1,000, the Miami Herald reported.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now considering whether to reclassify manatees as threatened rather than their current status as endangered.

The annual survey has shown a steady rise in the Florida manatee population since it began in 1991 with about 1,200 manatees observed, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

Scientists have long been skeptical of the reliability of the count. One biologist told the Times that it was like "counting popcorn while it pops."

"Obviously it's very good news, but it needs to be kept in context," Save the Manatee Club executive director Pat Rose told the Times. "It doesn't mean we've got 1,000 more than we had in 2010."

Twitter users commented on the survey.








© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
The manatee population in Florida has hit a record high, according to Fish and Wildlife Research Institute biologists who released an annual population survey Monday.
manatee, population, record, florida
377
2015-51-17
Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 02:51 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved