August 22, 2010

Sign The Petition To Save Florida’s Manatees From Development!

Please sign the CARE2 petition to Save Florida’s Manatees From Development HERE!

The Manatee is a large, gray to black aquatic mammal, often referred to as a sea cow. Adults can be massive, averaging ten feet in length and weighing in between 400 and over 1000 pounds. Manatees have a very small head compared to their bodies. They use small, paddle shaped forelimbs and a strong flat tail to swim.

Manatees live in fresh or salt water usually swimming in small herds and are generally found in the tropical waters of North/South America and Africa. Being purely herbivore, up to eight hours a day is spent feasting on seaweed and/or other marine plant life. They support a very slow metabolism and likewise move very slowly through the water. Manatees have few natural enemies due to their size, yet it is no surprise that humans are the primary threat to their habitat and well being. The female manatee will normally give birth to a single, pink calf about once every three years After a twelve month gestation period, so you can see that it is not easy for them to reproduce quickly enough to replenish the species.

According to the experts at Save the Manatee Club, they are currently facing total extinction and the main causes of death to the Manatee are related to humans. Humans greatly affect wild Manatees by chasing, grabbing, riding and feeding them/giving them water from a hose. This conditions Manatees to take food and water from people.

Here in Southwest Florida, most of our fellow Floridians love Manatees. We see them on a regular basis. It is sometimes difficult to keep from feeding them and playing with them, as they are very gentile and adorable giant creatures. It is comical to watch them bump into unsuspecting tourists while they are swimming, as Manatees are also very curious animals. Of course, no harm ever comes to the swimmer other then a bout of misplaced terror at sight of a large black blob under the water nudging them. You may want to swim with them and pet them. However, by conditioning Manatees to trust humans gives others who are of lesser moral character the opportunity to harm them more easily. Humans have been known to feed friendly Manatees harmful items/chemicals or intentionally hurt them. It also leaves them at greater risk to poaching. The most common causes of death among Manatees arises from habitat destruction(by humans of course), boating accidents, fishing line entanglement, litter/pollutants and getting caught in culverts/canals or other man made structures. Some other causes of manatee death are natural such as cold water temperatures, red tide/disease, and difficulties giving birth.

For the future generations that will follow, we urge you to respect the Manatee. Take great care that your actions will ensure that our posterity will be able to view wild Manatees from the shore, in their natural habitat. Thank you all for taking the time to help the Manatees now by writing to Florida State legislators, asking them to generate stronger laws protecting this beautiful animal.

The AELLA Team

Please sign the CARE2 petition to Save Florida’s Manatees From Development HERE!

Angela Cancilla Herschel says:

We must do the honorable thing and not allow greed to control us.