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NEWS: Hurricanes May Have Spared Manatees

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posted on Jan, 11 2005 @ 04:16 PM
Florida Biologists believe bad luck for man may have been good luck for Florida's manatees. The number of the aquatic mammals killed by water vehicles in 2004 was the lowest total in five years. Scientists theorize that this was a result of lower boat traffic due to the four hurricanes that struck Florida in 2004.
The fury of four hurricanes in Florida may have spared the state's endangered manatee population from further decline.

The annual report by the state Fish and Wildlife Research Institute shows deaths statewide fell to 276 in 2004 from 370 recorded in 2003.

"One theory is the four hurricanes that affected the state this year means we had less boating activity," said Tom Pitchford, a biologist with the research institute. "Fewer boats on the water means fewer manatees struck."

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As a Floridian, I was glad to hear the hurricanes from last year possibly had some beneficial effects. Even though the manatee population seems stabilized, any decline in mortality is good news. Now if we could just get the water quality improved and reduce the overall death rate of thes "cows of the sea".

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[edit on 11-1-2005 by Banshee]


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