West Indian Manatee Decline

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The West Indian manatee has been around for a long time. It is known to be the biggest surviving aquatic mammal. The West Indian manatee is known to be in the Trichechus family. This sea creature is believed to evolve around the similar time as the dugongs. The West Indian Manatee and the dugong believe to look very identical. However, scientific DNA tests have showed that neither of these two marine mammals are connected/related to any other animals. This specie is an aquatic mammal, classified as a herbivore and is also known as the Trichechus Manatus. The West Indian manatee lives around the district areas of warm subtropical coastal regions of the Gulf of Mexico (See Appendix B). The West Indian manatee is divided into two subspecies,…show more content…
The population of the West Indian manatee today is around 4800. As seen in 2000-2005 the population of the Florida manatee decreased drastically, leaving there only being about 1500 Florida manatees left (See Appendix C). There are many causes for this harmless mammal to be at the brink of extinction. Some of the causes for the manatee dying are natural causes. The West Indian manatee has few predators, but their natural predators include Sharks, Alligators and Crocodiles. The cold waters for the West Indian manatee are an extreme threat to them. By unintentionally swimming from a warm area of water to a cold area of water, everything in their bodies can shut down, making them die. Their bodies are not adapted to being able to handle cold temperatures. The biggest threat to the West Indian manatee is human-related, therefore they are on the brink of extinction. The biggest threat for this specie, is watercrafts around the area where the manatee’s live/swim. They are regularly hit, injured or killed by boating incidents. Most boat accidents happen because the manatees have such a dark body color, making it hard so see from the surface. When the manatees are hit, they are usually scarred, and if the cuts are deep enough, they can bleed to death. It is estimated that 25% of the Florida manatees die each year, are boat

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