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Sad news for Florida's manatees

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission reported that 829 manatees--out of an estimated 5000 in Florida-- died during 2013.

A leading cause of death --276 manatee fatalities--was red tide. Red tide, which biologists often call Harmful Algal Blooms, is caused by an overgrowth of a type of algae that produces toxins that can affect the nervous system of manatees and other marine animals. This algal overgrowth is called "red tide" because the algae contain pigments that turn the water red.

Other causes of manatee death included boating accidents, which claimed 72 lives.

If you would like to do something to help this gentle, endangered species, visit savethemanatee.org to learn what programs are available and how to help.

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