MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported counting 6,250 manatees throughout Florida’s waterways this week.
The number is higher than any previous total since 1991, which is when the counting began.
Statewide observers from 11 organizations counted 3,292 manatees on Florida’s east coast and 2,958 on the state’s west coast.
The count of 6,250 in 2016 is very similar to the amount counted last year, which was 6,063.
These are the only two years that the count has exceeded 6,000.
Due to some animals often going undetected, the counts represent the minimum number of manatees known to be in the survey area at the time of the survey.
“Weather conditions can greatly impact our counts. Fortunately, the conditions during this year’s survey were very good,” said FWC biologist Dr. Holly Edwards.
Surveys are conducted annually in order to provide researchers with an amount of visible manatees in Florida waters.
It allows them to know the least number of manatees in Florida waters.