Many entangled African manatees die before they're discovered, but even when they're found alive, most are killed rather than released, the IUCN notes, possibly because they're seen as pests that damage fishing equipment. Although people do target manatees in some places with traps, nets, and baited hooks, they are also widely killed by fishing gear intended for other animals. Manatees can become confused by multiple boats, sometimes swimming away from one and into the path of another. Red tide: karenia brevis, a microscopic algae can create a range of chemicals that are dangerous to Less is known about the Caribbean subspecies, but its population is thought to be smaller and sparser. Watercraft collisions account for about 25% of all deaths among West Indian manatees, as well as 35% of documented deaths with a known cause. Manatees who frequently interact with friendly paddlers can lose their natural caution around watercraft of all kinds, including the motorized vessels that already maim and kill too many manatees. In Brevard County, Citizens for Florida Waterways (CFW), another boating special interest group, has also proposed legislation to weaken the Manatee Sanctuary Act and the removal of rules, such as slow-speed zones, that protect manatees. While incidental entanglement is a problem for all three manatee species, it seems to play the largest role for African manatees.
If you're fishing in Florida, take advantage of the Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program (MRRP), which aims to encourage recycling with a network of line recycling bins and drop-off locations at docks, boat ramps, and tackle shops across the state. there's other places that will take you to the springs for a real to experience the manatees. Manatees can become confused by multiple boats, sometimes swimming away from one and into the path of another. Contact Save the Manatee Club via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling toll free at 1-800-432-JOIN (5646). Boating can be fun and exciting for Florida residents and visitors, but that fun can come at a dangerous price to boaters and manatees alike who must share Florida’s often crowded waterways.
If you're boating in manatee habitat, assign someone to look out for manatees (or take turns). Due to their slow speed, high buoyancy, and tendency to feed on seagrass in shallow water, manatees often have little time or space to escape fast-moving boats and jet skis. Although manatees are often well protected within their critical warm water winter sanctuaries, these sanctuaries are a relatively small percentage of their overall habitat, and manatees must leave them repeatedly to forage.
Russell McLendon is a science journalist who covers a wide range of topics about the natural environment, humans, and other wildlife.
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