Massive manatee meet-up caught on video

Originally published at: Massive manatee meet-up caught on video - Boing Boing


Oh, the huge manatees!


First of all, why are there so many humans in and on the water near a threatened and protected species?


If we could understand what the manatees were saying, I guess they would find some strong words to that statement.

Seriously, I hope they are not talking about the shoreline depicted. From a professional POV as an ecologist, this piece of shoreline is heavily anthropogenically remodelled. Nothing in this picture is in a near-natural state, nothing shows signs of good ecological conditions and ecological functions, or even shows good ecological potential.


I love manatees!


We had some very good friends in North Fort Myers, FL

Every time we stayed with them we would visit Manatee Park in Fort Myers. It was at the base of an electric power plant, it somehow heated the water in a long canal that emptied into Orange River into Caloosahatchee River into the Gulf.

Lots of Manatee if you went early in the morning after a chilly night. We were lucky enough to see babies a few times.

It’s been a couple years since we’ve been down there because ours friends passed away. More people I miss.

We’ll get back sooner or later.

Here’s one poking it’s nose out to peek at us and a couple with a baby. Notice the scars on it’s back from boat propeller hits.


it appears to be restoration of shoreline in the sense of bringing a shore back, rather a deeper “restoring it to its original nature”

here’s what the manatee meetup in years past looked like without the shore present. ( lots of trees standing in the water due to soil erosion )


( via )


manatee are cool!
in answer to @LutherBlisset re: people in the water with the manatee party - Crystal River is a place that you can swimm with manatee, but not approach, touch or in any way harass them. failing to follow those simple directions can land a person a $10,000 fine.
they are not as fragile in the CR complex because the seagrass (their primary food source) is still healthy and abundant there. unlike the estuaries further south where overdevelopment and dredging has left seagrass beds dead and dying, starving the manatee. over 1000 individuals died in each of the last 3 years.
yes, they are endangered. they are in their healthy environment in the CR complex and can presumably survive the additional stress of the human interlopers - to an extent.
they are also very sweet and curious and will approach you for a chin rub (which is ok, so long as they approach you, not the other way around!
ETA: the number one threat to manatee is boat strikes. people just seem to ignore no wake zones and injure or kill many manatee every year.


momma amd baby manatee at the Pilot House marina, my home port.


They put this man at ease.

As an ecologist, I wonder if the manatees actually profit from the reinforcement of the bank, or if the eroded shoreline would be more beneficial for their wellbeing.

I’m totally unfamiliar with the details of the autecology of the species, and with the area in question.
I would have to dig into that deeply to come to a conclusion in regard to my concerns. “The erosion caused sediments to enter the spring vents” seems to be a point on favour for a reinforcement, but that would also need a deeper knowledge of the particular situation. I have to give them the benefit of doubt, but my doubts are rather worrying.

Thanks, @FloridaManJefe - the info on restrictions to hoomahns sounds ok. Still, the amount of people on that pic makes me very uneasy.

Re:seagrass - that’s a really interesting subject. The discussion on causes of seagrass decline around the world is still far from a deeper understanding, I think. I recently came across projects in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea which are working on restoration of sea grass populations. Fascinating, I think.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.