Today, there are only around 13,000 manatees left in the wild. Of that number, about 8,000 live in Florida and Puerto Rico.
Manatees are getting closer to the extinct species list. Sad as this is, there are ways you can lend a helping hand in manatee conservation.
If helping save the manatees interests you, or you want to learn more about what manatee conservation is, look at how these organizations serve to protect our larger sea wildlife, including the manatee.
Threats to Manatees
Recently, Manatees have been pushed from the 'endangered species' list to the 'threatened' list. While manatees have natural predators, the singular largest threat to manatees (and all sea life) is humanity.
Humans are single-handedly causing these beautiful creatures to disappear from the planet. One of the biggest threats humans pose to manatees is watercraft vehicles, which either maim or kill manatees.
Other threats include:
- Being trapped in floodgates
- Fishing line, plastic, and litter
- Destruction of habitats
- Building construction
- Animal cruelty
All of the above contribute to killing off around one-third of the entire manatee population.
Importance of Manatee Conservation
Manatee conservation is critical to preserving the species. Manatees play a vital role in the ocean's ecosystem because they feed on tons of seagrass.
Manatees graze for up to seven hours a day on roughly 60 different plants. Their eating habits keep seagrass and other varieties trimmed down, preventing the obstruction of waterways.
Manatees also excrete these plants out into the ocean, where it comes full circle and acts as a fertilizer.
Organizations Making a Difference
Under The Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act (FWCC), it is illegal to interact with, pet, or harm a manatee.
Many manatee conservation organizations take the time to clean up our beaches and seas. Some schedule hours to collect fishing lines, discarded plastics, or any other litter that may be fatal to sea life.
These organizations rely on volunteers from the local community who want to help keep the shoreline clean.
Save the Manatee
Save the Manatee offers the option where you can Adopt-a-Manatee. When adopting a manatee, you sign up for a monthly membership where you pay a fund that helps feed, clean, and provide for your manatee of choice.
Defenders of Wildlife
Defenders of Wildlife work hard to ensure there is no violation of the conservation laws.
They also work to protect manatee habitats, fight against climate change, and speak out against invasive species that pose a threat. This organization acts as a voice for the animals who have none.
Dolphins.org serves to educate the public all about manatees. The more the public knows about these creatures and the vital role manatees play in our world, the safer they can be on the beach.
Dolphins.org also researches manatee behavior, their habitat, and how humans affect their quality of living.
How You Can Help
Even if you aren't part of an organization, you can still do your part. There are several different things you can employ in your own life that will benefit manatees:
- Do not litter
- Make a donation
- Safely operate watercraft
- Report an injured manatee
- Report mistreatment of manatees
- Clean up beach trash
You might also look to see if the organization you have chosen offers fun apparel. Any money you spend on items will go toward keeping the manatees safe and healthy.
Everything Manatee serves to help protect our fellow manatee friends in the wild. We believe in the importance of educating people on what a manatee is and how we can aid in manatee conservation.
Only by working together can we save the manatee species from extinction.
If you are interested in manatee conservation, Everything Manatee asks you to look at our donation page. Here, you can contribute directly or purchase fun manatee gear.
All funds will go to support manatee protection!