Introducing the Manatee...

Posted: Tue, 20 Mar 2012

Introducing the Manatee...

Many of you (and I must confess I speak for myself!) may never have come across the Manatee before. When we were choosing the endangered animals to inhabit the buildings a Manatee was not first on my list. They are beautiful though, and endangered. We chose the Manatee to inhabit the Kimberlin Library. Commonly known as a 'sea cow' they live in coastal waters and rivers for example along the North American east coast, they're also found in the Amazon River and the west coast and rivers of Africa.

The Impact of Climate Change (from

Climate Change and Other Threats

Since manatees spend their live in the water, climate change poses significant threats to their well-being. Higher water temperatures along the Gulf Coast has lead to an increase in toxic algae blooms, such as the red tide that killed more than 150 manatees in 1996. Global warming also raises the odds against these already endangered creatures by increasing the likelihood of larger and more frequent hurricanes.

Did You Know?

The closest living relatives to the manatee include the elephant and the hyrax.

Other threats to manatees include destruction and degradation of their coastal and freshwater habitat. The leading known cause of death is by boat strikes; propellers and hulls inflict serious or mortal wounds. Most manatees have a pattern of scars on their backs or tails after surviving collisions with boats. Scientists use these patterns to identify individuals. Manatees are also vulnerable to cold water. They have also been found crushed or drowned in flood-control gates and suffer harm from exposure to toxic red tide. In addition, a large number of manatees die from unknown causes each year.

See below for further information from the National Geographic and the "Save the Manatee" charity. There's also a link to a video of a Manatee. And of course if you wish to adopt a Manatee (other than the one in Kimberlin Library - please go to the WWF pages).

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