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Friday, May 09, 2008

It's time -- here come the manatees

Published 5/9/2008
Boaters on the Santa Fe and Suwannee rivers should be on the lookout for manatees because the end of winter is the start of manatees' migration around the state, said Karen Parker with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Most manatees congregate further south in areas like Crystal River, Parker said, but last year, there were reports of more sightings than usual on the Santa Fe River.

The drought last year also prevented the manatees from entering the Ichetucknee, where the water is warmer than the neighboring Santa Fe and Suwannee rivers, said Ichetucknee Park Services Specialist Sam Cole.

The drought caused the Santa Fe River to be lower than normal, preventing the manatees from crossing over a natural limerock ridge that separates the two rivers.

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