Manatee deaths decline for first time in five years, researchers skeptical that will last

Manatee deaths are the lowest since 2019, before the pandemic, and they’re surviving in many places across the state.

In 2021, approximately 1,100 Florida manatees died. That number was cut nearly in half in 2023, according to the latest FWC data.

“We’re coming off a couple of really bad years for manatee mortality, so it’s encouraging to see that this year so far, the mortality numbers are looking a bit better,” said Dr. Zack Jud, the Director of Education at the Florida Oceanographic Society.

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