Manatee Protection Tips for Boaters:
Call to Report Injured Manatees

If you spot an injured, dead, tagged, or orphaned manatee, or if you see a manatee who is being harassed, please call 1-888-404-FWCC (3922), #FWC or *FWC on your cellular phone, or use VHF Channel 16 on your marine radio.

If the manatee appears injured, please call right away. If injuries are not obvious, but you still suspect the manatee may be injured, try to determine the number of times the manatee surfaces to breathe during a five minute period before calling. Since manatees can stay submerged for up to 15 minutes at a time, frequent surfacing could be indicative of an injury. Be prepared to give the exact location of the manatee. Please call:

  • If you see a manatee with a pink or red wound. This means the wound is fresh.
  • If you see a manatee with grayish-white or white wounds, this means the wound has healed. However, the manatee can still have internal injuries, so continue to observe the animal for any of the other characteristics listed here.
  • If the manatee is tilting to one side, unable to submerge, seems to have trouble breathing, or is acting strangely.
  • If you observe a manatee calf by itself with no adults around for an extended period of time.
  • If you see anyone harassing a manatee.
  • If you see boaters speeding in a protected area.
  • If you see a manatee who has become entangled in monofilament line, crabtrap lines, or other debris.
  • If you see a manatee tagged with a radio or satellite transmitter. However, do not attempt to remove the transmitter. It is designed to come off if it becomes entangled, so the animal won't be trapped.

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