Good news from the world of Florida wildlife. Manatee deaths in Florida waters were down substantially in 2014 when compared to 2013. According to reports from Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute the 2014 numbers of 361 deaths was far smaller than the 2013 tally of 811 dead Manatees.
The 361 deaths were also far smaller than the five-year average of 2009 to 2013 which was 552 Manatee deaths a year. On average about 20 to 25% of Manatee deaths are caused by watercraft incidents. The US Fish & wildlife Service is evaluating whether to reclassify Manatees in Florida from “Endangered” to the less critical “Threatened.” No decision has been announced yet by the federal agency.