Saturday, January 28, 2023

They launch an emergency program to protect manatees in the US

Miami, Dec 29 Florida (USA) officials have launched an emergency program to protect manatees during the current winter season, a time when what biologists call an “unusual mortality event” that usually occurs on the Atlantic coast Is. From the starvation of these marine mammals.

Within the framework of this plan, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) has launched “at full capacity” a response center at Cape Canaveral on the state’s east coast to assist with manatee rescues, health assessments in the area . , as well as a supplemental diet plan.

To date, thanks to this plan, 104 manatees have been saved in Florida, according to the state agency.

“Staff are continuing to monitor and supervise and provide them with vegetables, depending on how many are at the feeding site,” said Michelle Pasawicz, Cape Canaveral’s site manager, according to local channel WTSP.

Designed to counter the high mortality rate of manatees due to starvation, the supplemental feeding has been carried out since last winter in the Indian River Lagoon area, a common area these animals visit during the winter in search of food.

“Environmental conditions and the presence of the manatees continue to guide the feeding trial,” the FWC said Wednesday, adding that this supplemental feeding plan began on Dec. 16, with a range of between 9 and 33 vaquitas.

So far this year, famine mortality has been lower than last year, according to the FWC, which nevertheless forecasts a “higher” mortality rate for next winter.

“The FWC researchers expect the findings of chronic malnutrition in manatees to persist along the Atlantic coast as long as seagrass loss in the Indian River Lagoon continues,” the state agency said.

Sponsored by the electric company Florida Power and Light (FPL), this pilot scheme’s temporary station, launched last winter in the center of Cape Canaveral, successfully supplied 200,000 pounds (90,000 kg) of vegetables to more than 800 manatees.

As of last December 23, 783 sea cows (Tricus manatus) have died in Florida so far this year, according to FWC data, with the number expected to reach a record 1,101 during 2021.

Experts believe that one of the reasons for the high mortality of this species, which was declared one of the official symbols of this state in 1975, is the reduction of sea grass due to pollution caused by the action of Eye, on which these animals feed. man.

The Florida government last May announced more than $30 million in funding for the 2022-2023 fiscal year to rescue manatees and preserve their habitats.

Nation World News Desk
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