Record Numbers of Manatees Dying of Starvation in 'Unprecedented' Mortality Event

Video Credit: Wibbitz Top Stories
Published on July 12, 2021 - Duration: 01:45s

Record Numbers of Manatees Dying of Starvation in 'Unprecedented' Mortality Event

Record Numbers of Manatees Dying of Starvation in, 'Unprecedented' Mortality Event.

'Newsweek' reports that a total of 841 manatee deaths were recorded by Florida's Fish and Wildlife Commission in the first half of 2021.

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Many of the deaths have been attributed to starvation due to a loss of seagrass.

Unprecedented manatee mortality due to starvation was documented on the Atlantic coast this past winter and spring, Florida's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI), via 'Newsweek'.

Most deaths occurred during the colder months when manatees migrated to and through the Indian River Lagoon where the majority of seagrass has died off, Florida's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI), via 'Newsweek'.

According to the institute, the long-term health effects of "prolonged starvation" on the remaining manatees are still unknown.

The death total of 841 is more than double the five-year average of 352.

The seagrass reduction has been attributed to human-caused pollution.

This pollution, such as fertilizer runoff and sewage leaks, causes algal blooms to proliferate in the water.

The Indian River Lagoon has experienced devastating losses of seagrasses wherein more than 90% of the seagrass biomass has been killed off by severe and repeated harmful algal blooms.., Patrick Rose, aquatic biologist and executive director of the Save the Manatee Club, via 'Newsweek'.

...as the result of decades of nutrient pollution from human waste entering the IRL through the groundwater from leaching septic drain fields, poorly treated wastewater from municipal treatment facilities, and stormwater runoff containing fertilizers and other pollutants, Patrick Rose, aquatic biologist and executive director of the Save the Manatee Club, via Newsweek.

Rose said people can help by calling on their local, state and federal leaders to prevent pollution from happening in the first place and to cleanup existing pollution


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