Watch: Florida manatee deaths reach a grim new milestone

Florida manatee deaths face starvation due to rising pollution levels in the waters.
Credit: Steve Hillebrand/USFWS

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission reported over 1,000 manatee deaths in the state this year, surpassing the previous annual record. The numbers are far more than the 637 recorded deaths by the end of 2020 and above the previous peak of 830 deaths in 2013. Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus) have been facing starvation due to polluted waters.

“Manatees are in serious trouble,” ZooTampa at Lowry Park, a critical care center for manatees, said in a press release. “The loss of more than 1,000 manatees this year is deeply concerning and will have serious repercussions for years to come.”

The FWC is asking state lawmakers to approve $7 million for manatee conservation efforts, including seagrass restoration and manatee rehabilitation centers.

Read more from the Associated Press, and watch the video below.