Monday, November 17, 2014

Manatee Season

As the weather cools we get to manatee season here in Citrus County. If you have nor experienced manatees up and personal, you should make plans to do so this year. They are truly a pleasure to behold.Manatees are very gentle, slow-moving, graceful swimmers. A manatee uses its flippers and tail to steer itself through the water and moves its tail up and down to propel itself forward. Manatees are quite agile in the water. They can swim upside down, roll, do somersaults or move vertically in the water. Manatees emit sound under the water. They make these sounds when they are freighted, or interacting with another. Sound is not the only form of communication that a manatee will use there are sight, taste, touch, and smell.

Citrus County is currently the only place in the US where you can interact and swim with the West Indian manatee without that act being viewed as harassment by Law Enforcement. This endangered species makes Citrus County's spring fed rivers its wintering home. The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, was established in 1983 specifically for the protection of the endangered West Indian Manatee. This unique refuge preserves the last unspoiled and undeveloped habitat in Kings Bay, which forms the headwaters of the Crystal River. The refuge preserves the warm water spring havens, which provide critical habitat for the manatee populations that migrate here each winter.  

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