Manatee Appreciation Day

Manatee Appreciation Day is observed next on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023 (184 days from today).

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Manatee

Manatee Appreciation Day, a special day for getting to learn, appreciate, and help these gentle giants. Manatees continue to face many threats, from habitat loss to ship collisions. It is usually celebrated on the last Wednesday of March every year.

These herbivores but move slowly, often live in rivers, canals, saltwater bays, estuaries, and coastal areas around the world. Three species of manatees are gentle giants, which spend all of time on eating, sleeping.

Amazonian - Residing in the Amazon basin of northern South America, this species lives only in freshwater.

West Indian – There are two subspecies such as the Florida manatee and the Antillean manatee. The Florida manatee lives from the Caribbean and up the Florida coast towards North Carolina. They have also been discovered near Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. West Indian manatees prefer slow moving freshwater but are also found in saltwater.

African Manatee - Living in both saltwater and freshwater, the West African manatee moves along the West African coastline. Although mainly herbivores, West African manatees also occasionally eat fish.

Manatees weigh from 300 to 540 kg (approximately 600-1200 lbs) and live up to 60 years. Spending most of their time in the water, unpolluted habitat is vital to their survival. While they occasionally surface to replenish oxygen, manatees can stay submerged for about 20 minutes at a time. When they emerge, they are capable of replenishing 90% of the air in the lungs.

More information about Manatee:

  • Belonging to the scientific order, Sirenia, they are also related to dugongs.
  • Manatees are related to elephants.
  • Due to their huge size, they graze for up to 8 hours a day.
  • Manatees are constantly changing their teeth. A new set of teeth always develops behind the current set of teeth.
  • The compliance aims to raise awareness of some of the most important manatee challenges. Due to habitat loss, pollution, hunting and climate change, the number of manatees is decreasing. There are many efforts to help to bring the manatee back from the brink of extinction, however, we have to do much more.

History of Manatee Appreciation Day

The harmless gentle giants of the sea are closely related to elephants with egg-shaped heads and flat tails. They range in length from 10 to 13 feet, weigh nearly 1,300 pounds, and although they look bulky, they can move or swim very quickly if necessary. You can find them in slow-flowing rivers, saltwater bays, estuaries, canals and other coastal areas, spending their whole lives sleeping, eating or traveling. They have no careers in the world and only need to come to the surface occasionally to replenish oxygen.

Unfortunately, manatees have become endangered in recent years, mainly because of habitat loss. Comprised of only three distinct species worldwide - West Africa, Amazonia and West India - aquatic animals frequently fall victim to poaching for their meat, destroying waterways and careless collision with the ship.

New developments have destroyed their natural nesting areas; contaminate water with toxic sewage, manure and fertilizers; and cause algal blooms. Manatees often come into deadly collisions with boats in shallow waters where they need to live to feed on seagrass, their only source of food.

Manatee Day was founded by the world's leading manatee conservation organization Save the Manatee Club, founded in 1981 by musician Jimmy Buffet and former US senator Bob Graham. The organization works to protect manatees and their habitats. It established this holiday in support of its mission to rescue sluggish sea cows from mindless deadly activities.

Why Manatee Appreciation Day is loved

  • They are one of the closest thing

Childhood stories and movies have made us all yearn for the creature with two arms and a fish-like tail.

  • They are surprisingly playful

One would think they would be lazy for anything weighty that they have to support. Nothing. If you haven't seen a manatee playing on its own, rolling around in the water and making you say "terrible", you're missing out on a beautiful sight!

  • They are devoted mothers

The female manatee stays pregnant for 12 months (all year!) and cares for her young for several years just like a human mother. It is too much to kill so many years of love and nurturing!

How to celebrate Manatee Appreciation Day

  • Visiting manatees in Orlando

If you're living in Orlando, get out and visit Florida manatees at SeaWorld or Blue Spring State Park. Consider taking a video of the sea cows as they go out for a souvenir.

  • Notify

Support the holiday's cause by staying up to date on their emergency news, its causes, and simple fun facts with hashtags # #SaveTheManatee or #ManateeAppreciationDay.

  • Donate to manatee conservation programs

If you can only appreciate the animal from afar, do your part and contribute as much as you can so that they can enhance their efforts.

Observed

Manatee Appreciation Day has been observed the last Wednesday in March.

Dates

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

Wednesday, March 27th, 2024

Wednesday, March 26th, 2025

Also on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

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