A Florida park had to close a freshwater spring to swimming and kayaking when over 300 manatees rapidly moved into the area at an unexpected rate. (USA Today)
Learn a little about Florida’s manatees with our media spotlight.
Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit.
- Read through the short USA Today article and look at the map above. Why do you think manatees migrate to Florida’s rivers and springs every winter?
- Florida manatees thrive in warm, shallow water. They migrate to warm springs and rivers during the winter.
- Three Sisters Springs is part of the Crystal River ecosystem. Take a look at Crystal River on today’s MapMaker Interactive map. What large body of water do you think the manatees migrate to and from when they’re not congregating at the spring? Use the zoom feature (+/-) for some help.
- Manatees probably migrate around the shallow estuaries of the Crystal and Salt Rivers along the Gulf of Mexico.
- Why do naturalists think Three Sisters Springs experienced such manatee traffic?
- According to Laura Ruettiman, an environmental education guide, “The high numbers may be a result of greater protection in the area and because habitat areas in other parts of the state are being lost.”
- Watch the video with Brian Skerry, a Nat Geo photographer. What did he learn from spending time in Florida’s “mysterious world” of the sea cow?
- Despite the fact that manatees are reported to be solitary creatures, Skerry documented them interacting socially at the hot springs.
USA Today: Over 300 manatees close down Three Sisters Springs
Nat Geo: Florida Manatee—How now, sea cow?
Nat Geo: Sea Cows in the Crystal River (map)
Nat Geo: The Mermaid Myth
4 thoughts on “Manatee Invasion!”
Manatees are the cutest animals ever! some people ask me”why do you want to become a marine bilogist”?
I always say “god’s cutest animal the manatee, not to mention sea otters.” manatees are cute, but got to be procteted. People are actually debating over use of motor boats to kayaking (it is a lot safer fot yhe manatees, espically babies.).
Manatees are amazing animals