Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reported a preliminary count of 4,831 manatees in Florida during this year’s statewide aerial survey, conducted in late January.
“This year’s manatee count is the third highest we have recorded since the first statewide aerial survey in 1991,” said Gil McRae, director of the FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. “We are encouraged by the relatively high count, especially given the high number of manatee deaths documented recently. Information on warm-water habitat use from this year’s survey will be integrated with manatee survival and reproductive rates to update future population projections.”
To learn more about statewide aerial surveys, visit MyFWC.com/Research/Manatee and click on “Population Monitoring and Aerial Surveys.” To learn more about manatee conservation, go to MyFWC.com/Manatee.