I recently traveled to Florida to visit friends and one of our outings took us to Blue Spring State Park where we saw about 189 manatees, according to the park’s daily count. They swim underwater, raising their heads to the surface for air every few minutes. One needs to be underwater to get the best photographs. Many of these animals exhibit scars on their backs from boat and propeller strikes, if they survive. In fact so many have scars that they are recorded to identity each animal, much like the tail fin markings on whales.
Keeping tabs on all this were an Osprey, several turtles, and an alligator.
Manatees are listed by the IUCN as a vulnerable species. This is due to a host of threats including:
Residential & commercial development
- Housing & urban areas
- Commercial & industrial areas
- Tourism & recreation areas
Agriculture & aquaculture
- Annual & perennial non-timber crops
- Marine & freshwater aquaculture
Transportation & service corridors
- Shipping lanes
Biological resource use
- Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources
Human intrusions & disturbance
- Recreational activities
Natural system modifications
- Dams & water management/use
- Other ecosystem modifications
- Domestic & urban waste water
- Industrial & military effluents
- Agricultural & forestry effluents
- Excess energy
Climate change & severe weather
- Temperature extremes
- Storms & flooding
2 thoughts on “The Manatees of Blue Spring State Park”
Love the photos. Worth lugging 20 lbs. of camera equipment. So glad that you were able to join us.
Wow – great photos!!!!!