MIAMI—Florida manatees are dying at a record pace, prompting a federal investigation and calls to relist the aquatic mammals as endangered.
So far this year, 800 manatees have died in Florida, more than double the average for the same period over the past five years, according to state data.
Fish and Wildlife Service declared an “unusual mortality event,” defined as one that is unexpected, involves a significant die-off and demands an immediate response.
At the heart of the problem is deteriorating water quality that has depleted the seagrasses that manatees eat, researchers say.
Now, researchers say, they are experiencing starvation.
MIAMI, Fish, Wildlife Service, U.S . Rep, Republican, Fish and Wildlife Service
Florida, U.S, Tampa Bay, Manatee County