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Florida reports record high manatee deaths

Manatees
** FILE **A Manatee swims at Blue Springs State Park in Orange City, Fla., in this Thursday, Jan. 5, 2006 file photo. Wildlife officials will consider moving the manatee off Florida’s endangered species list Wednesday and reclassify it in the lower category of threatened. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, reported more than 1,000 manatees have died in Florida this year.

The highest number ever recorded since the deaths were tracked in the 1970s.

Manatees are special sea mammals in Florida.

That’s up from 498 deaths in 2020, 452 in 2019, and 746 deaths in 2018, according to FWC.

The FWC said in October that hundreds of manatees have starved to death due to contaminants affecting seagrass, which is what manatees eat.

“Our statewide death count from all sources has been higher than it’s ever been reported before,” Melissa Tucker, director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s habitat and species conservation division, told the House State Affairs Committee. “This is a starvation issue. There’s not enough seagrasses that are available to the manatees.”

For more information on how you can help the manatees, click here.