Florida manatees migrate to warmer waters in the winter and return when it warms up. In winter they swim in search of a warm winter refuge such as freshwater springs or canals adjacent to power plant outflows.
An adult manatee may weigh 1,000 pounds or more but is susceptible to cold. Water temperatures dipping to 68 degrees or below can produce cold stress in these aquatic mammals, and even cause death.
Please be vigilant about slowing down and watching out for manatees. Keep a look out for slow speed zones or no entry zones. if you have seen scars on a Manatee it is due to a run in with a boat. If you comply with slow-speed and no-entry zones that indicate manatees may be in the area then it could save them from being injured. Manatees like to congregate in areas such as seagrass beds and warm-water sites.
How to spot Florida's official marine mammal (Since 1975)?
Boaters and personal watercraft operators should scan the water near or in front of their vessels and look for signs that manatees are close by, including repetitive swirl patterns called a manatee footprint, a mud trail, or a snout or fluke (tail) breaking the water's surface.
Here are some other steps boaters and personal watercraft operators can take to help manatees migrate safely:
Keep vessels in marked channels
Wear polarized sunglasses to improve your vision
Obey posted boat speed zones
Use poles, paddles or trolling motors when close to manatees
Have someone help scan the water when under way
If you're doing this say "cheers manatees" and get a manatee on your favorite glass type by clicking this link or the image below https://amzn.to/3ZdzPI2
Besides following manatee-safety recommendations, people can help manatees survive by reporting sick, distressed, injured, orphaned or entangled manatees to the FWC's Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or text Tip@MyFWC.com. Florida residents also can call #FWC or *FWC via cell phone.
Manatee conservation is supported by Floridians who purchase the state's manatee license plate. Funds from this specialty tag go directly to manatee research and conservation.
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