Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

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Rescue and Mortality Response

Staff members at field labs located throughout Florida respond to reports of injured and dead manatees. Researchers at the five field labs work with FWC Law Enforcement, volunteers, and other agencies to verify injured or dead manatees; these groups also aid in rescue and carcass salvage. To determine cause of death, manatee carcasses are transported to the St. Petersburg lab, which serves as the state's pathobiology facility.



Manatee Mortality Statistics

Since 1974, biologists have collected mortality statistics for Florida manatees. Researchers have determined both the number of manatee deaths in each Florida county and the probable cause of death for each carcass. Analysis of these data allows tracking of changes and trends in mortality throughout the years.

Manatee Rescue

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists are responsible for coordinating rescues of sick and injured manatees.

Marine Mammal Pathobiology Laboratory

The Marine Mammal Pathobiology Laboratory (MMPL) is a field laboratory of the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) located on the campus of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. The MMPL is a dedicated member of the Manatee Salvage Program and responds to reports from the FWC Law Enforcement and the public concerning dead manatees in the waters of the northwestern sector of Florida.



FWC Facts:
White and brown shrimp depend on estuaries as nursery habitats, leaving when they reach 4-5 inches in length. This “shrimp run” occurs in late summer or early fall.

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