Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Winter Wonders - Manatees

 The manatee is a slow moving mammal found, in the United States, in Florida.  It is also known as the "sea cow" although it is more closely related to the elephant.

Living in water, they can hold their breaths for up to 20 minutes.

They are plant eaters, and can eat up to 10% of their body weight in plant matter each day.

The West Indian manatee, along with two other manatee species, are endangered.  Here are some fun facts about manatees.  Sadly, their only real enemy in the wild is man.

They can be run over by boats - manatees are no match for boaters.

Humans in Florida have finally woken up to the importance of saving the manatee.

In winter, manatees gather in several spots in Florida, where the water is warm, to winter.  In turn, people come from all over the world to see them.
Today, I would like to give you, my dear readers, a couple of glimpses into the world of the manatee.  It is fortunate that the water at this spring is so clear that you can see the manatees without much trouble.
These pictures were taken earlier this month at Blue Springs State Park in Florida.  Because the weather was cooler than usual, over 250 manatees were sighted the day we were there.

Here's Blue Springs itself.  At one time, before the state took the land, this was a swimming hole.  Now, no swimming is permitted during manatee season (from November into early March).  In spring, the manatees disperse and that's it for mass viewings until late fall.

And a sign educating the public about manatees and how to help protect these treasures of Florida.

Have you ever seen a manatee?

10 comments:

  1. I've never seen a manatee though I have travelled to Florida a few times. Wouldn't mind some sunshine right about now.

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  2. Great info. We live in Venice, and the manatees are afforded great respect here. The boaters that I know are very aware of these gentle creatures and take care to enjoy watching them while maintaining a safe space.

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  3. I seem to remember seeing manatees all year long when I visited Florida. I'm just surprised to find that winter is better time to see the "lethargic" set!

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  4. Was not aware of the Manatees and about the threat to their survival. Hope the efforts to protect them work well. Thanks for an informative post, Alana!

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  5. I love the manatees. It is such a shame that these beautiful animals are endangered like so many others. I just don't understand it.

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  6. Thank you for this interesting post. I've never seen a manatee, but from your pictures and description, I've conjured an image of it in my head. Perhaps, someday will even see one. Who knows?

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  7. Oh, how cool! Now if I ever get to Florida, I know one thing I'll have to go and see.

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  8. I'm not sure, I was going to say no, but I may have seen one at an aquarium somewhere a long long time ago. Would LOVE to go to Florida and see them in the wild!

    There's a big Facebook group for paddlers that I belong to that has some members in Florida. They LOVE making the rest of us jealous with their manatee photos!

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  9. Visiting our friend in Tampa. They took us to a local park which is a manatee preserve.

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