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Florida reports record-high manatee deaths

Posted at 7:29 PM, Nov 17, 2021

More than 1,000 manatees have died in Florida this year, according to a tally from the state's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The number is a sharp jump from 2020 when the state reported 637 manatee deaths.

The previous yearly high was 830 manatee deaths in 2013.

State officials say a study showed 20-25% of manatee deaths are due to collisions with watercraft. In 2021, 90 of the manatee deaths are due to incidents involving watercraft, that state reports.

Hundreds of manatees have also starved to death because of algae blooms and contaminants, according to The Associated Press.

Manatees are currently listed as a "threatened" species. However, conservationists are asking Congress to designate the marine mammals as "endangered," which would provide more protections for the animals.