News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Local / State

Florida Survey Counts Record Number Of Manatees

manatees.jpg
Manatee swims in water.

Florida wildlife officials say their annual manatee survey counted 6,620 of the sea cows — the most since the state began the census in 1991.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced Monday that the aerial survey found 3,488 manatees on the east coast and 3,132 on the west coast.

The state used a team of 15 observers from 10 organizations to conduct the count.

It's the third straight year the manatee census has topped 6,000. That compares to the first five years of the survey, when fewer than 2,000 manatees were spotted.

Last year the federal government downgraded the sea mammal's protected status from endangered — which means they are facing extinction — to threatened because populations have rebounded.

WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.