Cold weather in early 2010 took toll on manatees
The cold weather earlier this year led to a record high number of manatee deaths in 2010. From the beginning of the year through Dec. 5, biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) documented 699 manatee carcasses in state waters.
This preliminary data indicates the number of manatee deaths documented from Jan. 1 through Dec. 5 is nearly double the five-year average for that time period.
The "cold-stress" category accounts for 244 documented manatee deaths, which were caused by exposure to low water temperatures. However, it is likely the cold temperatures also contributed to many of the 203 deaths in the "undetermined" category and the 68 deaths in the "unrecovered" category.
The 2010 cold-related manatee die-off was unprecedented in both numbers and geographic extent. A large number of manatee deaths identified as cold-related occurred throughout much of the state...