Old School Manatees as Far as the Eye Can See
Apollo Beach Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
December 2nd, 2008 – by: oldschoolbill
Manatees can be found in shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, Old School canals and coastal areas.
Manatees are a migratory species. Some of the Old School Manatees have been visiting the Old School canal for years. Within the United States, West Indian manatees are concentrated in Florida in the winter, but they can be found in summer months as far west as Texas and as far north as Virginia. However, these sightings are rare. Summer sightings in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina are common. West Indian manatees can also be found in the coastal and inland waterways of Central America and along the northern coast of South America, although distribution in these areas may be spotty.
Manatees are gentle and slow-moving. Most of their time is spent eating, resting, or on TravBuddy. Manatees are completely herbivorous. They eat aquatic plants and can consume 10-15% of their body weight daily in vegetation, which is the same amount of turkey & trimmings consumed on ThanksGiving Day by Old School. They graze for food along water bottoms and on the surface. They may rest submerged at the bottom or just below the surface, coming up to breathe on the average of every three to five minutes. When manatees are using a great deal of energy, they may surface to breathe as often as every 30 seconds. When resting, manatees have been known to stay submerged for up to 20 minutes.
West Indian manatees have no natural enemies, and it is believed they can live 60 years or more.
The reproductive rate for manatees is slow. Female manatees are not sexually mature until about five years of age, and males are mature at approximately nine years of age. On average, one calf is born every two to five years, and twins are rare.
West Indian manatees in the United States are protected under federal law by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which make it illegal to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal. West Indian manatees are also protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978 which states: "It is unlawful for any person, at any time, intentionally or negligently, to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb any manatee." Anyone convicted of violating Florida's state law faces a possible maximum fine of $500 and/or imprisonment for up to 60 days. Conviction on the federal level is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and/or one year in prison.
How anyone could harm such a kind & genteel animal is beyond me. So please if you are enjoying the waters of Florida slow down, obey the posted speed & no wake signs & enjoy these natural treasures!!
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