Record number of manatees counted at Blue Spring State Park

ORLANDO, Fla. — Blue Spring State Park staff recently counted a record number of manatees in their waters.

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The park reported 663 at the spring Tuesday, nearly a hundred more than the previous record.

READ: 4 young manatees flown from SeaWorld Orlando to Columbus Zoo for treatment

Some of the coldest temperatures in a year were reported in Central Florida Tuesday morning.

During manatee season from November through March, manatees are known to seek the park’s warmer spring waters as they depend on warm water to survive.

According to the Save the Manatee Club, the water temperature in the spring was recorded at 59 degrees Tuesday.

READ: Manatee feeding experiment starts slowly as cold looms

Manatees were listed as an endangered species beginning in 1966, but their status was changed to threatened in 2017, the AP reported.

More manatees died in Florida in 2021 than ever before.

Blue Spring State Park provides underwater and above-water web cameras offering a constant view of manatee activity in the spring. Click here to view.

READ: FWC investigating after more than 1K manatees died in 2021

Here are ways to help manatees, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:

  • Call FWC’s Wildlife Alert toll-free number: 888-404-FWCC or #FWC or *FWC on a cellphone if you see a sick, injured, dead or tagged manatee.
  • Boaters will find them easier to spot if they wear polarized sunglasses and keep a lookout for signs of manatees, such as the circular “footprints” they trace on the top of the water or their snouts sticking up out the water.
  • Look, but don’t touch manatees. Keep your distance when boating, even if you are steering a canoe, kayak or paddleboard. Be a good role model for others so that they learn how to watch and enjoy manatees without disturbing the animals.
  • The plate you buy matters; support FWC manatee rescues and research. Next time you renew your tag, consider a “Save the Manatee” license plate!
  • Show your support for manatee conservation by proudly displaying a manatee decal. These high-quality stickers feature original artwork and are available from your local Tax Collector’s office with a $5 donation.

For more information on manatees at Blue Spring State Park, click here.

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