'Starvation and Malnutrition' Lead to High Florida Manatee Mortality Rate, Putting Species in Peril

Florida manatees remain in peril, as experts blamed “starvation and malnutrition on the Atlantic coast” for high mortality in their 2022 end-of-year report.

The president of the Florida Conservation for Ocean Conservancy, JP Brooker, said that Florida had lost 25 percent of its entire manatee population in the past two years, with 1,100 deaths recorded in 2021 and 800 in 2022.

“That’s a staggering figure,” Brooker said.

The Center for Biological Diversity has petitioned the US Fish and Wildlife Service to reclassify the manatee as endangered in the light of the current high mortality figures and threats to the species.

This footage was recorded in Miami Lakes, Florida, on December 28, and shows a manatee swimming near a playground. Credit: Anonymous via Storyful

Video transcript

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