Many researchers agree that in two areas in the state Florida the manatee population is growing, through both reproduction and migration of manatees from other areas of the state. These two areas, Blue Spring in Volusia County (known by researchers as the Upper St. Johns River) and Crystal River/Kings Bay in Citrus County (known as the northwest region), have been protected areas for over 30 years and are relatively rural areas with less boat traffic. Blue Spring is a no-entry zone (refuge) and several no-entry zones (sanctuaries) have been established in Kings Bay. Both sites also have substantial slow speed zones in surrounding waterways. It is believed that, because of these factors, these two sub-populations have increased. It is important to note, however, that these two groups combined comprise only about 16% of Florida's total manatee population.
No one yet knows the status of the two remaining manatee regional sub-populations. The data available from these regions is not sufficient to make a statistically reliable estimate of the population trend. The East Coast and Southwest manatee populations may be stable at best or may be declining. This is important because these two regional sub-populations make up the remaining 84% (the vast majority) of the manatee population in Florida.
In 2003, a population model was released by the U.S. Geological Survey that predicted an extremely grave situation confronting the manatee in both the Southwest and Atlantic regions where the vast majority of manatees are found. It states, "In the absence of any new management action, that is, if boat mortality rates continue to increase at the rates observed since 1992, the situation in the Atlantic and Southwest regions is dire, with no chance of meeting recovery criteria within 100 years."
Thanks for your interest in manatees!
Communications & Outreach Director
Save the Manatee Club
500 N. Maitland Ave.
Maitland, FL 32751
----- Original Message -----
From: Joseph Kissel
To: Joseph Kissel ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
Cc: Joseph Kissel
Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 7:03 PM
why is the manatee population going down and how can you and the foundation raise it back up to normal?
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