Florida releases 2008 manatee mortality numbers

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute documented 337 manatee carcasses in state waters in 2008, which is below the five-year average of 357.

The low number of red tide-related mortalities last year helped lower the figure, biologists said.

Watercraft strikes and perinatal (newborn) deaths were the two most commonly documented manatee mortality categories in 2008, with numbers for both categories above the five-year average.

Biologists documented 90 watercraft-related deaths and a record high of 101 newborn deaths.

The FWC uses trends in mortality figures to monitor ongoing and emerging threats to the manatee population. For information on manatee mortality research, visit research.MyFWC.com/manatees.

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