Tags: manatees | swarm | hot time | warm spring | florida

Manatee Swarm Having Hot Time at Warm Spring in Florida

Image: Manatee Swarm Having Hot Time at Warm Spring in Florida

A manatee calf nurses from its mother at the Three Sisters Spring in Florida. (REUTERS/Scott Audette)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016 09:55 AM

Manatees are warming up again at the Three Sisters Spring in Florida by the hundreds, forcing the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex to close off the area to the public.

Three Sisters Spring is a popular gathering place for the manatees when cold weather cools other waterways and draws them to the location's consistent temperature of 72 degrees, said United Press International.

The wildlife refuge said on Facebook it was shutting down the spring to boating and swimming because of the estimated 300 manatees.

"As of 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, the refuge has decided to continue the closure of Three Sisters Springs due to high numbers of manatees in the springs, those entering the spring as the tide floods, and the expected influx of more manatees currently holed up in Idiots Delight."

"The springs will still be closed at dawn and into the morning. Refuge staff will reassess the conditions in the morning to see if manatee numbers have decreased and a spring opening is warranted." 

The refuge posted a video Monday of the manatee gathering.

 

It's Manatee Monday, so here's a peek at what's happening at Three Sisters Springs right now! What a snooze fest!(Video credit: Kelly Borgmann, USFWS)

Posted by Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex on Monday, February 1, 2016

Manatees, which are usually seen in much smaller groups, can be found along the North American eastern coast from Florida to Brazil, while other species inhabit the Amazon River and the west coast and rivers of Africa, according to National Geographic.

Refuge officials found 797 manatees in the area last February, leading to a closure of Three Sister Spring then.

Florida manatees are protected from being hunted, captured or harassed in the United States by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

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Manatees are warming up again at the Three Sisters Spring in Florida by the hundreds, forcing the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex to close off the area to the public.
manatees, swarm, hot time, warm spring, florida
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2016-55-10
Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016 09:55 AM
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