West-Indian-manatee

Endangered Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus), Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Florida by USFWS Endangered Species on Flickr.

Photo credit: Keith Ramos

Manatee resting at Three Sisters Springs (Crystal River NWR) while shading over a school of mangrove snappers.

The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, was established in 1983 specifically for the protection of the endangered West Indian Manatee. This unique refuge preserves the last unspoiled and undeveloped habitat in Kings Bay, which forms the headwaters of the Crystal River. The refuge preserves the warm water spring havens, which provide critical habitat for the manatee populations that migrate here each winter.

Manatees, Florida, USA

Propeller scars mark this manatee—graphic evidence of a too-close encounter with a boat. About one in four of Florida’s 360 manatee deaths in 2012 resulted from collisions. Slow-speed zones help, but some boaters resent the restrictions.

Endangered Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus), Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Florida by USFWS Endangered Species on Flickr.

Photo credit: David Hinkel

The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, was established in 1983 specifically for the protection of the endangered West Indian Manatee. This unique refuge preserves the last unspoiled and undeveloped habitat in Kings Bay, which forms the headwaters of the Crystal River. The refuge preserves the warm water spring havens, which provide critical habitat for the manatee populations that migrate here each winter.