“Very concerned”: “Unusually high number of manatee deaths this year” says Florida agency


Manatees paddle to warm water to escape Fla. chill, AP, December 29, 2010:

State officials said 2010 has been a deadly year for the beloved animals: between Jan. 1 and Dec. 17, 246 manatees died from so-called "cold stress." During the same time period in 2009, only 55 manatees died from the cold. In 2008, only 22 manatees succumbed to chilly temperatures.

Manatee deaths documented from Jan. 1 through Dec. 5 are nearly double the five-year average for that time period, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission statistics.

"Obviously we're very concerned as an agency about the unusually high number of manatee deaths this year," said Wendy Quigley, a spokeswoman with the state-run Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg.

A total of 699 manatees were found dead between Jan. 1 and Dec. 5...

See also: Oil disaster may be to blame for recent manatee deaths in Gulf says expert

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