Descriptions of Manatee Death Categories

Manatee deaths are broken down into eight categories based on gross, histological, and microbiological findings.

Watercraft Death
Tail Mutilation
Taking Measurements
Manatee Ribs

Watercraft: Manatees hit by boats, barges or any type of watercraft. Death may result from propeller wounds, impact, crushing, or any combination of the three.

Crushed/Drowned in Flood Gate or Canal Lock: Manatees killed by crushing or asphyxiation in flood gates and canal locks.

Other Human-Related: Manatee deaths caused by vandalism, poaching, entrapment in pipes and culverts, complications due to entanglement in ropes, lines, and nets, or ingestion of fishing gear or debris.

Perinatal: Manatee less than 150 cm (5 ft.) in total length which were not determined to have died due to human-related causes.

Cold Stress: Manatees which die as a result of exposure to prolonged cold weather. Animals are usually emaciated and in a general state of malnutrition. (Combined with "Other Natural" in some printouts.)

Other Natural: Manatee deaths resulting from infectious and non-infectious diseases, birth complications, natural accidents, and natural catastrophes (such as red tide poisoning).

Undetermined; Too Decomposed: Manatee deaths in which the cause of death could not be determined due to an advanced stage of decomposition.

Undetermined; Other: Manatee deaths in which the carcass was in good condition (fresh or moderately decomposed), but necropsy findings were inconclusive. (Combined with "Undetermined" in some printouts.)

Verified/Not Recovered: Manatee deaths that were reported and verified, but the carcass was not available. (Combined with "Undetermined" in some printouts.)

Photo Credits: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

FWC Facts:
Manatees are found throughout rivers, springs and shallow coastal waters of Florida and nearby states. They have been seen as far west as Texas and as far north as Virginia.

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