An article in the Tampa Bay Times says that the manatees’ bellies are full of algae, and since manatees usually munch on sea grass, that may be the problem. With the sea grass killed off by previous toxic algae events, perhaps the manatees are eating algae, which is not giving them the nutrition they need.
And it’s not just manatees that are dropping dead in Florida. According to Florida Today, over 100 pelicans have been found dead in Brevard County in the past two months.
“The pelicans are emaciated and have heavy parasite counts, and, to our knowledge, other bird species have not been affected,” said Dan Wolf, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission researcher in a commission press release.
Photo: courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission