New Manatee Alert App Designed to Help Manatees

Save the Manatee Club
Save the Manatee Club
Published: Friday, August 30, 2013 at 06:13 PM.

A Florida-based corporation, EarthNC, through their conservation venture Conserve.IO, has teamed up with Save the Manatee Club to help boaters reduce the chance of hitting and harming manatees in Florida waterways, with the free “Manatee Alert App.” 

This smart phone-based map displays instructive visual alerts, notifying boaters when they are approaching manatee speed zones.  It also helps facilitate the reporting of injured manatees and manatee harassment to the proper authorities to ensure urgent help where needed.

“The new Manatee Alert App is a good example of how smart phone technology can help the public become better informed, help protect an endangered species, and contribute to preserving our environment,” says Brad Winney of Conserve.IO.  “With the majority of the public now having some form of smart phone or tablet, applications like Manatee Alert can provide safety and conservation messages in real-time.”

During the busy Labor Day weekend and throughout the year, manatees are especially vulnerable to the heavy boat traffic moving through the waterways in every direction.  Florida’s manatees have already suffered a catastrophic year due to a prolonged red tide event in southwest Florida and an unknown toxin in the Indian River Lagoon. 

There have been 717 manatee deaths from all causes so far since Aug 9, 2013, which is higher than any previous year’s total mortality, with exception of the cold stress mortality event in 2010.  At the current rate, the mortality for 2013 will likely break all previous yearly mortality records since record keeping began.

In addition to these complex events, boat collisions continue to pose a serious long-term threat to the manatee population. 

“Since many manatees inhabiting Florida waters bear the scars from past encounters with boats, use of the Manatee Alert App can go a long way towards preventing such injuries and deaths,” says Dr. Katie Tripp, Save the Manatee Club’s Director of Science and Conservation.

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