Manatee Awareness Month Provides Support for Endangered Species

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Manatee Awareness MonthIn 2005, Florida made November “Manatee Awareness Month” to promote understanding and the protection of these lovable marine mammals. Manatees are Florida’s official marine mammal and they have cause to be celebrated. These gentle giants have a rich history. Manatees are part of the order Sirenia, making up three out of the three species within this category. The name itself is derived from Greek mythology, referring to the Sirens who were half human, half bird women who sang haunting songs that drew sailors to their death on hidden rocks and reefs.Why do we Need a Manatee Awareness Month?

While they may derive their name from mythological creatures that wrecked havoc upon humans, manatees themselves are among the most gentle of marine creatures. The sweet nature of the Florida manatee has not stopped them from becoming endangered, however. They are threatened by a loss of their habitat and killed by collisions with boat hulls and propellers. They can also be harmed by well-meaning tourists who occasionally feed or attempt to ride them, placing a large amount of stress on the animal. Manatee Awareness Month has increased the visibility of these marine mammals, helping to provide protection and safety for this lovable creature. In fact, recent research has shown that manatees are far more intelligent than their nickname of “sea cows” would imply.

What Can We Do?
The best way to help to protect the endangered Florida manatee is to follow the Defenders of Wildlife’s tips for the best ways to support local manatee habitats. You can also help financially by symbolically adopting manatees through Save the Manatee Club, an organization which provides education programs about manatees to local Florida schools. There are also courses available to the general public for those who want to help protect this endangered species.

In an attempt to raise awareness and save the Florida manatee from extinction, the State of Florida has made the manatee the official marine mammal of the state. These efforts have increased the visibility of a sweet and gentle creature who is threatened by habitat encroachment and collisions with boat hulls and propellers. It is easy to help support Florida manatees, either through general education or donations to their support. Visitors should use caution if they want to see manatees up close. It is best to use professional services such as “Captain Mike’s Swimming with the Manatees” for a memorable experience that is both fun for you and safe for these sea creatures.

Swimming with the Manatees boasts the best water adventure in Crystal River, Florida with lots of things to do for you and your family. For more information, contact us online, or call us at (352) 571-1888.

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