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"The Manatee" by Amber Marine ~ Watercolor Painting, (c) 2015by Amber Marine
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ABOUT THE ART
The Endangered Florida Manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris (subspecies of the West Indian Manatee)
Watercolor Painting 2015
The gentle and charismatic Florida manatee is truly one of my favorite animals. This distant relative to the elephant has no natural predators and they spend their happy carefree lazy Florida days munching seagrass and slowly traveling along the saltwater shallows. They are very curious and playful - and surprisingly graceful - I have seen them somersault and "dance" in the water.
Sadly the biggest threat to the manatee's survival is collision with recreational watercraft. Scientists believe that the manatee population will not recover unless this cause of death is controlled. *Please* to all who operate watercraft in the manatee's home waters - obey the speed rules and manatee zone signs - do not speed through shallow waters or over seagrass beds - and please always wear polarized glasses so that you have a better chance of seeing these endangered animals in your path.
(I know that it was recently decided that manatees are no longer endangered, but I strongly disagree with that. As long as they are being killed every day by careless people in recreational watercraft, and as long as Florida continues to allow poisonous water to be dumped over the seagrass beds that the manatees rely on for survival - the only 6000-ish manatees that are left are - as a species - still very endangered in a very literal sense.)
More manatee info and boating tips here: http://www.savethemanatee.org/bttips.htm
Petitions to stop dumping toxic water into the Indian River Lagoon - a manatee hotspot:
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