Paddle Tales eNews

Wayne Hartley, Manatee Specialist, and Cora Berchem, Director of Multimedia and Manatee Research Associate, take "roll call" on a cold winter morning at Blue Spring State Park. Photo courtesy David Schrichte.

Manatee Sightings Update: April 2023

It was a mild winter at Blue Spring State Park, sightings were scarce until a cold snap in mid-March brought some familiar faces back.

Lesley needed several surgeries and almost three years in rehabilitation. But she ultimately recovered from her injury and infection and was released in January of 2021.

Remembering Lesley

Lesley’s story is an example of the incredible resiliency manatees have and the wonderful work done by the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership.

Complete tracking equipment—including belt, tether, and buoy—is visible in this photo of Miles, taken by SMC’s underwater webcam at Blue Spring State Park.

Let’s Talk (Manatee) Tracking!

Have you ever seen a manatee with what looks like a buoy attached to a belt around its tail? Most likely this was a manatee with a satellite tracking device!

Wayne Hartley, Manatee Specialist, and Cora Berchem, Director of Multimedia and Manatee Research Associate, take "roll call" on a cold winter morning at Blue Spring State Park. Photo courtesy David Schrichte.

Manatee Sightings Update: February 2023

Manatee season was off to a slow start with warmer than average temperatures, but two freezes lead to several sightings and a record 729 manatees at the park!

Wayne Hartley, Manatee Specialist, and Cora Berchem, Director of Multimedia and Manatee Research Associate, take "roll call" on a cold winter morning at Blue Spring State Park. Photo courtesy David Schrichte.

Manatee Sightings Update: December 2022

Manatee season officially started at Blue Spring on November 19, 2022, and many manatees have already visited the warm-water refuge.

A manatee mating herd. Mating activity often occurs in shallow water, attracting the attention of curious or concerned onlookers.

Please Keep Your Distance from Manatee Mating Herds

Mating herds can appear quite dramatic, with churning waters and flailing flukes and flippers. Remember to keep your distance, for the safety of humans and manatees alike.

Manatee “Mata Hari” swims in the Wekiva River with her calf in August 2022.

Higher Water Levels Give Manatees Access to Additional Habitat

With rising water levels from increased rainfall over the past few weeks, manatees have been showing up in places where they are not frequently seen, like the Wekiva River.

2022 ChangingSeas PT

Changing Seas: Saving Florida’s Starving Manatees

Save the Manatee Club is one of the organizations featured in this half-hour documentary, which premiered in June on PBS.

BS447 Una 7 600

Keep Me Tangle Free!

Fishing line, hooks, and other trash that is discarded can become intertwined in the vegetation where manatees feed. Fishing line can tangle around their flippers, or they may accidentally swallow the line or other trash.

Helen Spivey, known affectionately as "The Manatee Lady," educates visitors at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.

Remembering the Manatee Lady Helen Spivey

On April 20, 2022, the manatees lost one of their strongest and most heartfelt advocates when Helen Spivey passed away at age 94.