Wildlife & Habitat

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Crystal River NWR is unique in that it was established specifically for the protection of the threatened West Indian manatee.

  • Florida Manatee

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    The Florida manatee occurs primarily in Florida and southeastern Georgia. It is usually found in freshwater, brackish, and saltwater habitats. Because manatees cannot survive very long in water below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, the warm water springs of Kings Bay are essential for their survival.

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  • Springs

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    The springs in the bay, with their constant 72 degree Fahrenheit water, provide essential warm water refuge for the manatees that congregate there in the winter months.

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