Whether you are researching a school project or are just interested in our favorite aquatic mammals, you’ve come to the right place. Click on any of the links under “Manatees” on this page and see our Helpful Hints below to get started. If you are reporting an injured manatee, please click the blue box below.
Teachers and Students:
We have a variety of resources at our Education Materials page. There’s some links to resources for both educators and students.
Interested in Seeing Manatees?
We’ve got protection tips for boaters and some for divers and swimmers. If you boat in Florida, get one of our free waterproof banners. Boaters can also get a free boat decal, or you can get a free public awareness sign if you are a Florida shoreline property owner. These can be found at our public awareness materials page.
If you spot a sick, injured, or orphaned manatee, or a manatee being harassed, you should immediately report it. Please also report dead manatees or a manatee wearing a “tag” or tracking device.
How to Get Help for Manatees
Maryland, North Carolina, or any eastern state north of Florida:
Click the following link to get information on how to report manatees to your local wildlife officials.
Alabama and Mississippi:
Call Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s Manatee Sighting Network at 1-866-493-5803.
Call the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at 1-800-442-2511.
Call the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 1-800-9-MAMMAL (800-962-6625).
Please give dispatchers the exact location of the manatee.
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. Please call:
- If you see a manatee with a pink or red wound or with deep cuts. This means the wound is fresh.
- If you see a manatee with grayish-white or white wounds, this likely means the wound has healed. But 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. Manatee calves may remain dependent on their mothers for up to two years. If the mother dies before the calf is weaned, there is a strong likelihood the calf will not survive alone.
- 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. Do not attempt to remove debris by yourself. Debris may be embedded underneath the skin and only a trained veterinarian can adequately assess and repair the damage.
- If you see a dead manatee. By doing a necropsy, scientists can sometimes determine the cause of death and better understand the dangers to manatees.
- If you see a manatee tagged with a radio or satellite transmitter. Sightings of tagged manatees help provide researchers with information that can be used to protect manatees and their habitat. 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.
If you’ve looked over all the pages in this section and still can’t find the answer to your manatee question, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.