West Indian Manatees
One of North Carolina's Endangered Species
West Indian Manatees, also known as "Trichechus Manatus", are found in the coastal plain region (purple) of the U.S. They are usually found in Florida but can spread as wide as Texas to Massachusetts in the summer months. They tend to like the calm waters such as in estuaries, canals, and still rivers.
Reasons for Endangerment
In history, these manatees were hunted for their bones, flesh, and hide. Currently, the ultimate threat to manatees are boat mishaps and loss of warm habitats. Multiple accidents have been reported where boats have injured or killed manatees that were near the surface. The reason for their habitat loss is the widespread development around Florida.
What Are We Doing To Protect Them?
There are many measures being taken to conserve our West Indian Manatees. In result of the boat collisions, speed limits have been made to ensure that manatees are no longer harmed or killed. As for the loss of habitat, no regulations have been made in response. Although, biologists are working to guarantee that there will always be a source of warm water for the manatees.