Manatee’s in Florida

Saturday Jan 17th 2015

We asked Matt and Rita about Manatee’s here in Florida and told them how we wanted to see them in the wild.  First they informed us that in a few months they will be coming into our marina and we will actually see them beside our boat.  But right now the water is not warm enough for them as the water temp has to be above 70 degrees for them to survive.

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Matt, Rita, and Buddy decided to take us to Blue Spring Park on the St John River.

It was unbelievable what we saw.  We started at the first pool with water so clear you could take pictures all the way to the bottom.  The following pictures are of the same pool.  It is spring fed with water at 72 degrees all year long.  The perfect temp for Manatee’s.

These springs are located in several places here in Florida.  As we were looking at them I do believe they are the foundation of the “Fountain of Youth” idea by Ponce De Leon.

But now for some pictures.  Tell me what you think of them!

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The water is about 8 to 12 feet deep through out the pool.  There are several babies.  They nurse by the mothers back flipper and they all go out to the river in a herd to eat river grass.  They have no predators except the props from motor boats.  They move to slowly to get out of the way of power boats.  Most places they limit the speed of boats to 6 knots to protect the manatee population.  They were endangered for a long time but the population is coming back.  There are over 200 Manatee in the blue Spring but it started out with only about 14 a few years back.  It is a very protected area.

Also located in the spring area are

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Alligators.

Many species of fish

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I am trying to identify this bird.  It was about 10 feet below me on the path.  I am trying to get some wildlife identity APS for the computer and IPad.  Any help you folks might have will be greatly appreciated.

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I could not believe all these Manatee’s here and how clear the water is.

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This is a Manatee by a depth stick. The Manatee is on the bottom and the depth stick measures the water at 8′ 3″ deep.

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They come to the top every 5 minutes or so and breath through these two nostrils then go back down.  The only thing that comes above the water are the 2 breathing holes.

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These are Manatee Baby Photo’s.  When they are full grown they weigh about 1300 pounds.

For more information this link is very helpful. http://www.savethemanatee.org/manfcts.htm

I will do some additional blogs about the Manatee in the future.  What an awesome creature.

More to do in Florida than Disney.

“Living The Dream”

    Tammy & Steve

 

 

 

 

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