Manatees are continuing to thrive in the Sunshine State, according to a new survey conducted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The FWC reported at total of 6,620 manatees in Florida waters – 3,488 on the east coast and 3,132 on the west coast.
The 2017 survey represents the third consecutive year with a minimum count higher than 6,000 manatees.
“The relatively high counts we have seen for the past three years underscore the importance of warm water habitat to manatees in Florida,” said Gil McRae, head of the FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in a release.
Completed after a cold front, the warm, sunny weather with good visibility helped to make this year’s survey a success.
Florida has invested more than $2 million annually for conservation of manatees and the FWC says it will continue to work to ensure the well-being of the animals’ population.