Monday, January 7, 2008

FWC-FWRI Press Release- Manatee Mortality 2007

January 7, 2008


A preliminary report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) indicates there were 317 manatee deaths in state waters
in 2007. The total number of carcasses documented last year falls below
the five-year average of 355.

Watercraft strikes and red tide continue to contribute to a high
percentage of manatee mortality, accounting for more than half of the
total deaths in 2007 where scientists could determine the cause of death.
Necropsy results identify watercraft strikes as the cause of 73 deaths and
red tide as responsible for 52 deaths in 2007.

FWC researchers report that watercraft and red tide-related deaths were
high in Southwest Florida. The combination of these factors was identified
as a concern for this region in the recently approved manatee management

The FWC uses trends in mortality figures to monitor ongoing and emerging
threats to the manatee population. A recent report analyzing threats to
the species, coauthored by researchers from the United States Geological
Survey and the FWC, points to watercraft-related mortality as the most
significant long-term threat to the manatee population. However, FWC is
encouraged that the number of watercraft-related deaths in 2007 is below
the five-year average.

The FWC is committed to conservation actions that reduce the human-caused
manatee deaths. The FWC's manatee management plan outlines measures to
address watercraft-related mortality, as well as other threats facing the
manatee population.

To report a dead or injured manatee, call the FWC Wildlife Alert hotline
at 888-404-FWCC.

For more information on manatee mortality research, visit

To view this press release online, please visit

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