Cold Weather Supplements for Manatees?
On a cold winter's day, manatees gather at the warm waters of Three Sisters Springs in Florida.
(Photo © David R. Schrichte)

Q. Would high glucose supplements help keep manatees warm during cold weather?
--Jana Sanguinetti, California

A. Manatees can fast for a number of days during cold weather. Typically the cold snap will break within a week or the afternoon sun will warm enough for them to make at least a brief trip out to feed. Supplementing the manatee’s food source would change their natural behavior and affect their migration and daily routines and is not allowed by law. Protecting and enhancing warm water habitat really is the best thing we can do for them, and that is an important goal of Save the Manatee Club.

--Katie Tripp, Ph.D.
Director of Science and Conservation, Save the Manatee Club

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