The Florida Manatee is a native species found in many of Florida’s waterways.
In 1975, Florida’s school children helped designate the endangered Florida manatee as Florida’ state marine mammal. Since then, various research, management and educational efforts have helped bring back a species that many people thought was on the verge of extinction.
The Florida manatee population has grown to more than 6,600 animals today. Last year, the manatee was reclassified from an endangered to a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Today, manatees are considered one of Florida’s keystone species whose behavior can alert researchers to the environmental and habitat changes that may otherwise go unnoticed in Florida’s waterways for extended periods of time.
For more information, visit savethemanatee.org.