MASS DIE-OFF: ENDANGERED MAMMALS
Record number of manatees die in Florida waters
Toxic algae bloom in the Gulf of Mexico was the leading killer of the endangered manatees in Florida waters this year, says Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Dinoflagellates, the marine plankton responsible for algal bloom (red tide), which produce deadly neurotoxins, settle on the sea grasses that manatees eat, impairing their nervous system and causing them to drown, or so it’s thought.
At least 92 manatee deaths in the Indian River Lagoon, in central Florida, along the Atlantic coast is also thought to have been caused by algal bloom.
A large percentage of manatees are also killed by boats.
Some 803 manatee deaths occurred in Florida waters between January 1 and December 13, the largest toll for any year since record-keeping began 40 years ago.
Some 392 manatee died in Florida in 2012 and 453 deaths were recorded in 2011.
“The previous record was 766 manatee deaths and that was in 2010,” said the commission spokesman. “That was a year when cold weather was a major factor.”
As of 2011 about 4,834 manatees were living in Florida’s waters, an aerial survey showed.
A group of three West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) was photographed feeding on seagrass. Manatees (family Trichechidae, genus Trichechus, order Sirenia ) are large, aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammals. Also known as sea cows, they measure up to 13 feet (4.0 m) long, and weigh as much as 1,300 pounds (590 kg). Photo: NOAA
Florida, USA. “The cold December weather caused 35 manatee deaths, adding to what was already a record-breaking annual total of manatee deaths. Last year, 767 manatees died, which was more than double the annual average, said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.”
Cozy Relationship or Federal Felony: Environmental group suing U.S. Govt over oil permits [May 16, 2010]
The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group, has filed a notice of intent to sue Ken Salazar the U.S. Interior Secretary, and the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) for failing to get the necessary environmental permits, required by two environmental laws, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Endangered Species Act, before approving offshore oil operations.
Note, the key words and phrases here are, “failing to get the necessary environmental permits,” the Endangered Species Act and “the Marine Mammal Protection Act.” and
“The Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act prohibit private entities, such as oil companies, as well as federal agencies, such as the Minerals Management Service — the branch of the Interior Department responsible for managing offshore oil activities — from killing, harming, or harassing marine mammals, unless they have received authorizations and take measures to minimize the impacts of their activities. The Endangered Species Act protects species such as the sperm whale, which is listed as endangered, while the Marine Mammal Protection Act applies to all marine mammals, such as the bottlenose dolphin and the Florida manatee.” The group said in their notice.
Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act
This act declares Florida a refuge and sanctuary for the manatee, the Florida state marine mammal. The act declares it unlawful for any person at any time, by any means, or in any manner to intentionally or negligently annoy, molest, harass, or disturb or attempt to molest, harass, or disturb any manatee; injure or harm or attempt to injure or harm any manatee; capture or collect or attempt to capture or collect any manatee; pursue, hunt, wound, or kill or attempt to pursue, hunt, wound, or kill any manatee; or possess, literally or constructively, any manatee or any part of any manatee. The Florida statute provides guidelines for counties to establish manatee speed zones on county waters, as well as manatee protection zones. The Florida Administrative Code sets forth rules by county where manatee protection applies. Source: NOAA/CS
- Florida’s Endangered Manatees Faced Another Deadly Year January 5, 2012
- Seagrass in Crisis June 30, 2009
- At least 123 bottlenose dolphins became stranded along the Texas coast since November 2011, of which 119 died: NOAA, June 13, 2012