FWS Focus

Overview

Scientific Name

Trichechus manatus
Common Name
West Indian Manatee
manatee
Caribbean manatee
FWS Category
Mammals
Kingdom

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers

TSN:

Characteristics

Characteristic category

Habitat

Characteristics
Habitat

Manatees live in marine, brackish and freshwater systems in coastal and riverine areas throughout their range. Preferred habitats include areas near the shore featuring underwater vegetation like seagrass and eelgrass. They feed along grass bed margins with access to deep water channels, where they flee when threatened. Florida manatees can be found throughout Florida for most of the year. However, they cannot tolerate temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit for extended periods of time, and during the winter months these cold temperatures keep the population concentrated in peninsular Florida. Many manatees rely on the warm water from natural springs and power plant outfalls.

During the summer manatees expand their range, and on rare occasions are seen as far north as Massachusetts on the Atlantic coast and as far west as Texas on the Gulf coast. Manatees may travel hundreds of miles during a year’s time, preferring to travel along channels and shorelines.

Marine

Having to do with water

River or Stream
Coastal
Characteristic category

Physical Characteristics

Geography

Launch Interactive Map

Timeline

Explore the information available for this taxon's timeline. You can select an event on the timeline to view more information, or cycle through the content available in the carousel below.

54 Items