manatees

Biologists say a mysterious disease is making a comeback in the northern Indian River Lagoon, where nine manatees have died since the end of May.

FWC Screenshot

If you’re on a Florida waterway, you may encounter some manatees that appear to be splashing and cavorting. But, Florida wildlife officials say that’s actually the sea cows breeding and they’re asking the public to give the marine mammals some space.

myfwc.com/manatee/

Starting Friday, seasonal manatee zones will be in effect. Florida wildlife officials are warning boaters to slow down for the sea cows to avoid injuring them.

FWC's Flickr

November is Manatee Awareness Month, and Florida wildlife officials want boaters to be aware of manatees on the move during their migration period.

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

A discovery into dolphin genetics may have brought research scientists one step closer to finding out the source of a mysterious animal die-off last year in the troubled Indian River Lagoon.

“Now, I gotta good one for you: if you’re swimming in the water and a fin comes up right by you, how can you tell instantly whether it’s a shark’s fin or a dolphin’s fin,” asked Barry Legé.

The answer? A shark fin is more straight, while a dolphin’s fin is more curved.

manatee
Matthew Bednarik via Flickr

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this week it is reviewing the manatee’s status as an endangered species. According to ecologists and Florida residents, the decision may have consequences for more than just the mammal.

NOAA

There’s a new smartphone app to help Floridians report sea life in need of help in the Southeastern U.S.  National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration officials say it’s more important than ever given an expected increase in the number of stranded animals—particularly dolphins.

For the past several years, marine mammal strandings in Florida have averaged about 200 a year, excluding manatees. A stranding is when a whale, for example, gets beached or stuck in shallow water. This year, it’s been especially bad says NOAA’s Erin Fougeres.