The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation has launched a new program to help protect the state’s manatees. Over 1,000 manatees starved to death in 2021, which inspired environmental officials to start a feeding operation in the Indian River Lagoon. The program provides 2,000 pounds of food daily, which has been fueling between 25-800 manatees per day. The food consists of butter lettuce and romaine, which are manatees’ favorite snack. Officials will continue the federal program through the end of March and will evaluate the progress from there. Though the species is no longer endangered, they are dying at a record pace due to pollution, habitat loss, and fishing. If the program is deemed a success, similar initiatives could be developed for other vulnerable populations.
Image via Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
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