Description: In the waters off of Fort Myers Beach, you can often find the Florida manatee in their natural habitat. The Florida manatee is the state mammal, they are commonly referred to as sea cows, and they are an aquatic relative of the elephant. Manatees are grayish brown and have a set of front flippers and a flat tail. Their front flippers help them steer their way, and also allow them to crawl sometimes if they are in shallow water. They have small eyes and no outer ears, however they are still able to hear and see well.
Diet: The manatees in Fort Myers Beach are herbivores and have a diet that consists of mainly sea grass and freshwater vegetation.
DO NOT FEED THE MANATEES. While it is exciting to see a manatee in their natural habitat, do not interfere with them in the wild. This means, that you should never feed these manatees or give them water.
Habitat: You can find manatees in the back bay of Fort Myers Beach. They are typically found in the warm shallow waters. It is rare to find manatees in waters below 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can find manatees in the warm Florida waters during the winters, and they typically migrate up north, as the weather gets warmer.
How they spend their days: Manatees are very slow-moving and gentle animals. However, they are known to enjoy playing. They do this by body surfing or barrel rolling. They spend their days resting and feeding on sea grass and vegetation often. They also have the ability to communicate with each other by squealing under water. This allows them to communication stress, fear, or excitement.
Tips to Help Save the Manatee Population:
– Do not feed or attempt to touch or interact with the manatee wildlife. They are fun to see and watch, but you should not interfere with natural wildlife. These actions can cause manatees to learn to go up to boats and rely on humans, which can be very harmful to their survival.
– Obey boating no wake zones. Manatees live in shallow waters, and can be harmer by boat propellers if they are not obeying no wake zone laws.
– Do not litter. The Florida back bays and oceans are home to the Florida manatees and tons of other wildlife. Do not litter or pollute their homes.