West Indian Manatee Facts
- Firstly, the remarkable, as well as quite adorable, West Indian Manatee ranks as the largest surviving member of its order.
- Also, and quite sadly, the IUCN currently lists this precious creature as Vulnerable. However, this is an improvement from Endangered.
- Furthermore, this fascinating creature, which has long held the attention of many, actually comprises two separate subspecies.
- Also, this aquatic mammal thankfully remains the focus of ongoing conservation efforts, which led to its slightly improved status.
- In addition, its highly distinctive appearance has earned the astounding animal the nickname of the sea cow.
- Finally, the primary threats to its existence, not surprisingly, continue to be climate change and human activities.
West Indian Manatee Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Firstly, as the species name implies, the West Indian Manatee is primarily, though not wholly, endemic to the West Indies. In addition, its full range extends from the east coast of the United States to the northeastern tip of South America.
Also, the species lives almost exclusively in shallow coastal areas but remains highly adaptable, and sometimes even enters shallow rivers and estuaries as well.
Individuals generally live as solitary creatures, grouping together only for mating. It has a primarily herbivorous diet, but will occasionally feed on fish and small invertebrates.
Finally, its only known natural predators include orcas, large sharks, and alligators.