The Florida Fish and Wildlife Service has reported a preliminary manatee count for 2016 of 6,250 individuals statewide: 3,292 on Florida's east coast and 2,958 on the west. This is up slightly from last year's count of 6,063 (and undoubtedly represents an underestimate of total manatee populations in the state, as some individuals will not be detected and counted). Conditions were excellent for the aerial survey this year, and 2015 and 2016 are the first years since aerial surveys began that the population count has topped 6,000. We hope we'll see it continue to grow in 2017 and beyond.
Learn more about FWC's manatee related research here, or read the press release and check out photos from the 2016 aerial survey here.
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