BIPS asks everyone to help protect manatees
September 1, 2022
By Guest Columnist
Adult manatees are typically 9- to 10-feet long from snout to tail and weigh around 1,000 pounds. Manatees have two forelimb flippers that they use for steering movements and to hold vegetation while eating. A large, round, flattened paddle-shaped tail is used for swimming. They are quite agile, and able to swim upside down, roll or move vertically in the water. They frequent back bay estuaries and shallow coastal zones and spend up to eight hours a day grazing on seagrasses. This includes the back bay waters of Cayo Costa and Gasparilla Islands as well as our beaches, where in the summertime, mating herds have been observed.