Manatees are extraordinary creatures that are wonderfully preserved here in Citrus County, FL. As a result of the Endangered Species Act, the Florida Manatee Recovery Plan has been a huge success since its installment in 1989.
When it comes to their preferred habitat, manatees love shallow, slow-moving bodies of water such as rivers, bays, and coastal areas. They stick to these areas due to the seagrass beds and vegetation that grow for food. Manatees are a migratory species which stay located in Florida during the winter, but can then venture out as far west as Texas and as far north as Massachusetts in the summer months.
Manatees are very gentle animals and are very slow-moving. They prefer to spend their days eating, resting, and traveling. Though they are mostly herbivores, they can consume some small fish and invertebrates along with their regular diet.
Since they are mammals, they do need to come to the surface to breathe. They will usually come to the surface every three to five minutes, but when they are exerting more energy, it can be as frequent as every thirty seconds. Manatees can rest underwater for up to twenty minutes and can also swim up to 20 miles per hour if necessary.
If you are looking to swim with manatees in Citrus County, FL, Bird’s Underwater offers exceptional manatee tours. Rent one of our waterfront properties and join us for a scuba diving excursion of a lifetime!