Florida manatees face another difficult winter
More than 700 dead manatees have been reported in Florida waters through the first nine months of this year as the big sea cows face another winter with depleted food supplies.
- Although there were fewer deaths this past winter than the one before, there were still far more than during normal winters on the Atlantic coast.
What's happening: A report published in August suggests many of the remaining manatees could be dealing with chronic starvation already.
What they did: Scientists inspected fat, muscle and stomachs of 231 manatee carcasses found this January and February.
What they found: 88% had findings consistent with malnutrition.
- Necropsy data indicate that manatees had experienced starvation and malnutrition before entering winter.
- They saw severe, extensive tissue atrophy, likely the result of malnutrition through multiple seasons.
Flashback: State biologists are still trying to end an Unusual Mortality Event that started in the Indian River Lagoon in December 2020.
- Last year, a record 1,101 dead manatees were reported in Florida waters.
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