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Cold-Related Mortality Event Winter 2009-2010

When manatees experience prolonged exposure to water temperatures below 68F (20C), they can develop a condition called cold-stress syndrome, which can be fatal. The effects of cold stress may be acute, when manatees succumb rapidly to hypothermia, or longer-lasting as chronic debilitation. Chronic cold-stress syndrome is a complex disease process that involves metabolic, nutritional, and immunologic factors. Symptoms may include emaciation, skin lesions or abscesses, fat depletion, dehydration, constipation and other gastrointestinal disorders, internal abscesses, and secondary infections. Over the past 10 years, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) has documented several winter seasons (December-April) with higher-than-usual numbers of deaths from cold stress: 2000-2001 (32), 2002-2003 (40), 2003-2004 (48), 2004-2005 (45), 2005-2006 (35) and 2008-2009 (69) (FWRI unpublished data; counts include newborns that might have died from cold stress).

Publisher - Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI)

Subjects - Mammal, Manatee

http://myfwc.com/research/manatee/rescue-mortality-response/mortality-statistics/cold-related-2009-2010/


Citation: FWRI. 2012. Cold-Related Mortality Event Winter 2009-2010. St. Petersburg (FL): Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI). http://myfwc.com/research/manatee/rescue-mortality-response/mortality-statistics/cold-related-2009-2010/