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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — Despite it being a deadly year for manatees, Florida wildlife officials believe the threatened sea cow population is doing better than previously thought.

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission now says roughly 7,500 to 10,300 manatees swim in state waters, a significant increase from previous estimates of roughly 6,000.

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statement Tuesday said the population estimate comes from data collected in a 2015-2016 survey and analyzed with upgraded computer models.

Experts blame a winter cold snap, a prolonged red tide and collisions with boats. Wildlife commission statistics show red tide caused or is suspected in over 200 manatee deaths.

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