© 2024 Central Florida Public Media. All Rights Reserved.
90.7 FM Orlando • 89.5 FM Ocala
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Manatees Starve To Death In Ailing Indian River Lagoon

Credit: David Hinkle  USFWS
Credit: David Hinkle USFWS

Advocates are fearing another manatee die-off is underway in the ailing Indian River Lagoon, as more than 200 have been found lifeless since the start of December. 

The manatees appear to be starving.  

The dead manatees have been found emaciated, some with nothing in their stomachs. 

Pat Rose of the Save the Manatee Club blames harmful algae blooms that in the upper Indian River Lagoon have wiped out almost all of the seagrass, leaving manatees with nothing to eat.   

“Just recently manatees were released at Blue Spring State Park as an alternative because it really wasn’t safe to return them to the lagoon in the northern end.” 

The manatee was reclassified in 2017 as threatened rather than endangered. Between 7,000 and 10,000 of the animals are believed to be in Florida. 

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.