North Florida Ecological Services Office
Southeast Region

Florida Manatee - Issues and Information

Manatee Myth: Florida Manatee - Native to Florida?

Federal Manatee Protection Areas (Refuges & Sanctuaries)

Manatee Recovery Plan

Manatee Rescue, Rehab & Release Program

Out-of-State Manatee Sightings - What to Do and Not Do

Conservation Agencies Encourage Boaters to Self-Report Collisions with Manatees


2012 Revised Florida and Antillean Manatee Stock Assessments Available

Manatee swims near Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge

Manatee swims near Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge

Photo: Keith Ramos, USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced the availavility of its 2012 marine mammal stock assessment reports (SAR) for the two West Indian manatee sub-species: the Antillean manatees in Puerto Rico and the Florida manatee. The reports assess the manatee population status within the context of fisheries.

The formal Notice of Availability published on Thursday, January 23, 2014, in the Federal Register. A 90-day public review and comment period closed on June 26, 2013.

Comments and supporting information that was submitted during this period, as well as the final reports are available online via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2012-0081.

IMPORTANT NOTE: A Tampa Bay Times article published January 23, 2013 by Craig Pittman contained an error in fact. In the third paragraph the reference to 99 commercial fisheries deaths is incorrect. As stated in the report, there has been a five-year average of 99 human related deaths per year (Table 1, pg 17); none of which were tied to commercial fisheries operations.

Thus, within the context of this fisheries focused report, lethal take of Florida manatees from commercial fisheries activities is obviously well below the calculated Potential Biological Removal (PBR) number of 14.98 (pg 3).

As noted in the Service spokesperon's interview with Mr. Pittman, this report acknowledges there remain other human and natural threats but only focused its conclusions within the fisheries context as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).

The report and list of references is available below.

Notice of Availability of final reports- PDF - 237KB

2012 Florida manatee SAR - PDF - 472KB

2012 Antillean manatee SAR (Puerto Rico)


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Improves Manatee Protection in King's Bay

Everglades wetlands

Female manatee and nursing calf.

Photo: USFWS.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today finalized a proposal to improve protections for manatees in Citrus County, including establishing a year-round manatee refuge in Kings Bay, its tributaries, and adjoining water bodies upstream of the confluence of Kings Bay and Crystal River.  In the winter, Kings Bay’s warm water springs host the largest natural concentration of manatees in Florida.

The final rule establishing the manatee protection area in Kings Bay will help provide greater protection to manatees – including protections from collisions with boats – while providing continuing opportunities for manatee viewing, recreation, and boating activities that are important to the local community near Kings Bay.

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12-Month Warranted Finding on a petition to revise critical habitat for the Florida manatee


Manatee Stock Assessment Reports (SAR)

  • 2012 Draft Revised SAR for West Indian Manatee Stocks - see report at top of page
  • 2009 Final Revised SAR for West Indian Manatee Stocks

2011 Florida Manatee Project Key Programmatic Assessment

  • Appendix A - Incidental Take Avoidance-minimization measures for new or expanding multi-slip facilities and dredging projects, 2011 - PDF 14KB
  • Appendix B - Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Activities, April 2013 - PDF - 121KB Updated Icon
  • Appendix C - Additional Conditions for Project In-water Activities in Manatee Habitat, 2011 - PDF - 16KB
  • Appendix D - Standard Manatee Conditions for new and existing pipes and culverts, 2011 - PDF - 12KB
  • Appendix E - Dock Construction Guidelines in Florida for docks or other minor structures constructed in or over submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), marsh or mangrove (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/National Marine Fisheries Service, August 2001 - PDF - 12KB
  • Appendix F - Key for construction conditions for docks or other minor structures in or over Johnson's seagrass (Halophila johnsonii) October 2002 - PDF - 13KB

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Last updated: January 27, 2014