Florida wildlife officials encouraged by high manatee count

Florida wildlife officials are encouraged by the results of a recent survey that counted 6,620 manatees in the state.

It is the third straight year that the count showed more than 6,000 in Florida. The count was aided by clear water conditions, and , said Dr. Holly Edwards, an FWC biologist. That helped a team of 15 observers from 10 statewide organizations to spot manatees during this year's count.

According to the survey, 3,488 manatees were counted in Florida's east coast, and 3,132 on the state's west coast.

A similar survey last year counted 6,250 manatees. And in 2015, the survey counted 6,063. The higher than 6,000 manatee numbers can be attributed to favorable weather conditions. Otherwise, manatees won't be counted if they cannot be seen.

State biologists also pointed to recent conservation measures for the high manatee count.

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