Report a Manatee Sighting

Report a Sick or Injured Manatee in Florida

If you are at all concerned that a manatee may be sick, injured, entangled, or orphaned, or if you see a manatee that is being harassed or wearing a “tag” or tracking device, please immediately report it to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) 24-hour Wildlife Alert Hotline by calling 1-888-404-3922 (FWCC).

What to do if you spot a sick or injured manatee

  • Immediately call the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline. An FWC biologist will give you instructions on what to do next.
  • If possible, keep the manatee in your line of sight, but remember keep your distance. If the animal leaves the area, take note of the direction.
  • If possible, take a photo/video of the animal without disturbing the manatee.
Watch to learn how to determine if a manatee is in trouble:
Play Video

Signs that a manatee may be in distress:

  • Floating high in the water, unable to swim down
  • Fresh, open wounds (pink/red)
  • Rapid breathing – breathing every minute or so
  • White lesions, emaciation (thin, visible ribs/skull), lethargic
  • Tidally stranded (do not attempt to push the manatee back into the water or move it yourself)
  • Lone, orphan calf (manatee less than five feet in length)
  • Entanglement

Also call if:

  • You see anyone harassing a manatee.
  • You see boaters speeding in a protected area.
  • You see a dead manatee. By doing a necropsy, scientists can sometimes determine the cause of death and better understand the dangers to manatees.
  • You see a manatee tagged with a radio or satellite transmitter. Sightings of tagged manatees help provide researchers with information that can be used to protect manatees and their habitat. However, do not attempt to remove the transmitter. It is designed to come off if it becomes entangled, so the animal won’t be trapped.

Report a Manatee Outside of Florida

Alabama (and Mississippi)

Call Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s Manatee Sighting Network (DISL MSN): 1-866-493-5803 to report injured manatees. To report a sighting, submit DISL’s manatee sighting form.


Call the Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue Center hotline: 1-860-572-5955 x107.


Call the Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute (MERR) hotline: 302-228-5029.


Call the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Conservation Section coastal office: 1-800-2-SAVE-ME (1-800-272-8363) or 1-800-241-4113 after hours or on weekends.


Call the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries hotline: 1-800-442-2511.


Call the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Response hotline: 1-800-628-9944.


Call the International Fund for Animal Welfare Marine Mammal Rescue hotline: 508-743-9548.


Call Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s Manatee Sighting Network (DISL MSN): 1-866-493-5803 to report injured manatees. To report a sighting, submit DISL’s manatee sighting form.

New York/New Jersey

Call the Marine Mammal Stranding Center hotline: 1-609-266-0538.

North Carolina

Call the Marine Mammal Stranding Network of North Carolina Central Coast hotline: 1-252-241-5119.

Rhode Island

Call the State of Rhode Island’s DEM Environmental Law Enforcement: 1-401-222-3070.

South Carolina

Call the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources hotline: 1-800-922-5431 to report injured manatees. To report manatee sightings, submit the SCDNR manatee sighting form.


Call the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network hotline: 1-800-9MAMMAL (1-800-962-6625).


Call the Virginia Aquarium’s Stranding Response Team hotline: 1-757-385-7575.

Report Healthy Manatee Sightings

Use our Manatee Sighting Form if you see a manatee along a river, estuary, canal or coastal area in the southeastern U.S. Your sightings can help provide valuable information to researchers who are tracking manatees. When you spot a manatee, please fill out our simple electronic form below with details about what you observed. We welcome any photos or videos to accompany the form.

Your sighting information is shared with our partners for possible inclusion in the Manatee Individual Photoidentification database (MIPS) and may be used to help identify manatees and track their movement. We appreciate your help with this important information!

Please do not use this form to report injured manatees. Report sick, injured, orphaned, and dead manatees immediately to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-3922.

Report Manatee Sightings by Mail, Fax, or Email

You can also fill out a pdf sighting form to send by mail, fax, or email. The pdf file below includes fillable form fields and can be filled out electronically. You will need to mark the manatee’s scar locations by hand. We welcome any photos to accompany the form. You can send the sighting forms by mail, fax, or email.

Manatee Sighting Form (pdf)

Please return to or at the address below:

Save the Manatee Club
Attn: Manatee Sighting Reports
317 Wekiva Springs Rd., Suite 100
Longwood, FL 32779
Phone: 407-539-0990
Fax: 407-539-0871