Manatee Appreciation Day

Quick Facts

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2021 DateMarch 31, 2021
2022 DateMarch 30, 2022
Manatee Appreciation Day

Manatee Appreciation Day History

Manatee Appreciation Day seeks to raise awareness about the herbivorous sea cows. Manatees are aquatic mammals that mostly eat plants. Their peaceful behavior combined with their long robust bodies earned them the nickname sea cow. There are three species of manatees: Amazonian, West African, and West Indian. This day encourages learning more about manatees and how we can protect them from habitat loss.

Manatee Appreciation Day is believed to have been started by the nonprofit organization, Save the Manatee Club. The club got its start in 1981 when Florida Governor Bob Graham and singer Jimmy Buffet made it their mission to protect manatees. Today, Manatee Appreciation day is observed annually on the third Wednesday of March.

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Manatee Appreciation Day Facts

  • According to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, there are only an estimated 13,000 manatees in the world. Given their low numbers, manatees are protected under the Endangered Species Act and under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
  • Since 1974, more than 41% of manatee deaths have been human related. Savethemanatee.org asserts that these deaths stem from habitat destruction as well as one of the largest causes of manatee deaths, watercraft collision.
  • Manatees are more closely related to elephants than to any other marine creature. As members of the sirenius family, manatees share a common ancestor with elephants.

Manatee Appreciation Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Visit Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Florida. It's home to over 450 manatees. Manatee season runs from November 15th to the end March so be sure to visit and catch the lovable docile sea cows in one of their natural habitats.
  • Help save the manatees! Learn how to report an injured manatee or help support manatee protection. You can even adopt a manatee. Discover more ways to help.
  • Watch a documentary on manatees. Learn more about conservation efforts and how you can help protect their species.

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