Florida manatee count reaches new high of 6,250

Posted at 5:52 AM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 09:02:51-05

The latest official count of manatees shows there are 6,250 of the marine mammals in Florida.

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Thursday that a team of 16 observers from 11 organizations counted 3,292 manatees on Florida’s east coast and 2,958 on the west coast of the state.

Wildlife officials say this year's count is on par with last year's count of 6,063 manatees.

The counts this year and last year are the only two times on record when Florida's manatee population exceeded 6,000.

“Weather conditions can greatly impact our counts. Fortunately, the conditions during this year’s survey were very good,” said FWC biologist Dr. Holly Edwards.

The annual count represents the minimal number of manatees in the state since many marine mammals go undetected.

RELATED: Pictures of FWC's 2016 manatee aerial survey