To call attention to Endangered Species Day, which is May 15th, Save the Manatee Club wants the public to be aware that manatee deaths are up this year compared with recent years, with high numbers of watercraft mortalities (33). Manatees are listed as endangered on the international, national, and state levels.
“A total of 200 manatees were confirmed dead as of May 1st,” said Dr. Katie Tripp, Save the Manatee Club’s Director of Science & Conservation. “Cold stress was a significant cause of manatee mortality this winter, with 47 confirmed deaths, but some other forms of mortality, including watercraft mortality, have also exceeded the 5-year average so far in 2009. In 2006, which was the deadliest year for manatees, with 417 confirmed deaths for the entire year, 159 had died by May 1st, suggesting that 2009 could set a new mortality record if trends from early 2009 continue. With the end of winter and the start of the summer boating season, it will be as important as ever to be on the lookout for manatees so that additional watercraft injuries and deaths can be minimized for the remainder of 2009.”
To learn more about manatees, visit Save the Manatee Club’s website at www.savethemanatee.org.
Give a Manatee!
Love those sweet-natured manatees or know someone who does? Join the Club! Save the Manatee Club, that is. Thousands of people around the world have become members by “adopting” one or more of the 32 manatees featured in Save the Manatee Club’s three Florida adoption programs, to help protect the endangered marine mammals. Manatee adoptions are often given as gifts, and with Easter coming up, this is a great alternative to candy and the usual fare.
Maureen Dalessio from Pennsylvania adopted manatees for her young nieces and nephew in South Jersey last year for Easter.