Manatees are Florida’s official state marine mammal. They are listed as vulnerable at the
international level by the IUCN World Conservation Union. They are listed as threatened at
the federal level by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and at the state level by the Florida Fish
& Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Their listing status is largely due to human activity.
Since record-keeping began in 1974, more than 41% of manatee deaths where cause of death
was identified were human-related – and almost 34% were due to watercraft collisions (the
largest known cause of manatee deaths). With increased awareness, education, regulations,
and enforcement, manatee deaths caused by humans could be substantially reduced, and
the eventual recovery of the species could be realized.