Manatees can live up to 60 years or more. Because of worldwide factors most manatees do not reach this age. The majority die before they are 10 with only few living beyond 30.
The reason most die young is because the manatee population is decreasing in all but two areas in Florida. The manatee population also suffers high rates of mortalities because of human related factors, especially watercraft related deaths, which are the number one cause of manatee deaths in Florida. The most unfortunate part of this is that watercraft collisions are the leading cause of death for adult age (meaning reproductive age) manatees. The population cannot recover from these rates of mortality. The rates have steadily incresed since 1992, and in the Atlantic and Southwest regions there is no chance of recovering the population within 100 years.
According to National Geographic, the average livespan of a manatee in the wild is 40 years. This mammal, also known as a “sea cow,” lives in coastal waters around South America, North America, and Africa. Because of their close contact with humans, they are often hunted, accidently hit by boats, or caught in fishing nets.
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