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MANATEE - Do we want speed boats or this unique sea mammal?

manateeAll over the world more than 10,000 animal species are in danger. Some are in danger because their homes are being destroyed. Many are in danger because people hunt them. Among these are the manatees.

Manatees are gentle creatures that some call Sea Cows.

Their Falling Numbers!!
Florida Manatees are very slow swimmers and they are hard to see in the water. Many are injured by boats and ships every year. There has been a lot of building in manatee habitats. They are losing their food supply and home. Sometimes they swim into lock gates and get trapped and crushed. Scientists think that there are only about 2000 Florida Manatee left. All types of manatee are endangered. Now, it seems as if the manatee's future lies in the hands of humankind.

What Are The Threats To The Manatee?
Humans have a special responsibility when dealing with the delicate balance of nature. It is ultimately up to us to decide how much of a forest to cut down for wood, when to drain a lake in order to build more houses, or when to put a ban on catching certain types of fish.

Loss of their habitat due to new home construction, hunting and pollution has all had a hand in endangering the manatee.

Water pollution in recent years has resulted in more red tides. Red tides are caused by an increase in types of algae that release toxins. This occurs naturally every few years. Many times this has no effect on manatees at all. Scientists, however, believe that in recent years pollution has caused red tides to become more toxic. The toxicity of the red tides results in manatee dying as well. Experts say that 20 percent of Florida's manatee population was lost in 1996 when an extremely strong red tide swept through the waters.

To Protect the Manatee contact www.savethemanatee.org or call 1 800-432-5646

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