From: USGS
Published April 13, 2017 08:08 AM

Florida Manatees Likely to Persist For At Least 100 Years—US Geological Survey

Florida’s iconic manatee population is highly likely to endure for the next 100 years, so long as wildlife managers continue to protect the marine mammals and their habitat, a new study by the US Geological Survey and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute has found.

The study, conducted by a team of veteran manatee scientists, estimated there is less than a one-half of one percent chance that either Florida’s Atlantic or its Gulf of Mexico manatee population could fall to as few as 500 adults – the level that could imperil Florida manatees’ long-term survival.

“Today the Florida manatees’ numbers are high. Adult manatees’ longevity is good, and the state has available habitat to support a population that is continuing to grow,” said USGS research ecologist Michael C. Runge, lead author of the USGS report, “Status and Threats Analysis for the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), 2016,” published today.

“Still, new threats could emerge, or existing threats could interact in unexpected ways,” Runge said. “Managers need to remain vigilant to keep manatee populations viable over the long haul.”

 

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Photo via USGS.

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