Second Synoptic Survey to Count
Results Produce Near Record Numbers
St. Petersburg- According to biologists with the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Florida Marine
Research Institute (FMRI), optimal weather conditions played a role in
the January 21-22 statewide synoptic survey to count manatees. The count
produced a total number of 3,113 manatees; the second highest count since
the survey began in 1991. On Florida’s Gulf Coast observers counted
1,299 manatees while on the East Coast observers counted 1,814 manatees.
The first synoptic survey to count manatees this year was conducted on
Jan. 9 and produced a total of 2,861 manatees; 1,166 on Florida’s
Gulf Coast and 1,695 on the East Coast.
For the East Coast this was an all time high count; the previous East
Coast record was set in Jan. 2001 with 1,520 manatees counted. For Florida’s
Gulf Coast this year’s count did not produce a record; that was
set back in Jan. 2001 with 1,756 manatees counted.
Eighteen teams consisting of 14 air and 4 ground crews, and 11 agencies
participated in this year’s survey.
Biologists have a prescription of favorable weather conditions for manatee
• A prolonged cold front,
• A significant drop in water temperature, and
• A sunny, windless day following the cold front.
For questions regarding the most recent synoptic survey please contact
Allison McDonald or Dr. Bruce Ackerman at (727) 896-8626.For more information
on other ways biologists assess the manatee population please visit www.floridamarine.org,
then click on "manatees."
To report a dead or injured manatee please call 1-888-404-FWCC.
ANNUAL HIGH SYNOPTIC SURVEY RESULTS 1991-2003
*Surveys not conducted
P.O. Box 296, Estero, FL 33928 E-mail
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