35 Florida manatees died due to cold weather last month

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PHOTO VIA FWC
  • Photo via FWC
It has been a rough winter for manatees in Florida.

Last January, 35 manatees died due to the cold snap. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the deaths occurred between Jan. 1 and Jan. 26. For some perspective, last year there were only seven manatee deaths related to cold weather.

When manatees are exposed to water temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit for a prolonged period of time, they can experience what's called cold stress syndrome, which which can result in hypothermia.

So far, the FWC has recorded 87 manatee deaths in Florida this year. In 2016, manatees were downlisted from endangered to threatened status under the Endangered Species Act.