Manatees Are Dying in Florida, and the U.S. Wants to Know Why
Florida manatees are dying at a record pace, prompting a federal investigation and calls to relist the aquatic mammals as endangered.
So far this year, 800 manatees have died in Florida, more than double the average for the same period over the past five years, according to state data. Their estimated population numbered 5,733 in 2019, the most recent year in which wildlife officials conducted a count. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared an “unusual mortality event,” defined as one that is unexpected, involves a significant die-off and demands an immediate response.