Manatee Information for Families

Manatee season is upon us again! In order to help you get started with planning your visit, we’ve compiled some helpful information and provided some tips on what to pack.

What is a Manatee?

There are two species of manatee: the Florida manatee and the West Indian manatee.
Florida Manatees are the most common, and can be found mostly in the warm waters near Miami. They usually weigh around 1,000 pounds, and can live up to 30 years.
West Indian Manatees are smaller than Florida Manatees (usually weighing around 500 pounds), and can be found in colder waters near the Caribbean. They usually live shorter lives, at around 10 to 15 years.

Where to Find Manatees

Manatees are slow-moving, aquatic mammals that can grow to be six feet long and two hundred and fifty pounds. They are found throughout the tropical and subtropical Americas, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

There are three main habitats where manatees can be found: freshwater lakes, saltwater oceans, and estuaries. Manatees prefer warm waters but can survive in colder climates as well.

To find manatees, families can visit various parks or nature preserves that have ponds or lakes filled with these gentle creatures. In addition, many aquariums have manatees on display.

How Often Can You See Manatees?

There are three manatees in the area–two in Crystal River and one in Homosassa Springs. The two Crystal River manatees are known to frequent the public boat ramp and can often be seen just offshore from the ramp. The Homosassa Springs manatee is more elusive, but has been spotted at the springs on a few occasions. Neither of the Crystal River manatees have given birth recently, so it’s possible that they may not be around for much longer. If you’re interested in seeing a manatee, try to visit during low tide or when they’re out near the public boat ramp.

How Do you Get Around on Manatees?

How do you get around on manatees? The best way to approach them is from the water, and to use their sides as a platform. If you’re approaching from land, be sure not to disturb them as they can be moody and dangerous if startled.

If you want to take a manatee photo or video, make sure the environment is calm and its dark so they don’t spook easily. Position yourself so that your subject is in the center of the frame, and keep your distance – they can move quickly!


If you’re planning on visiting the Manatee National Park, please be aware that there is an increase in Florida panther sightings recently. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these beautiful animals, and if you see one, don’t approach it – instead, call 1-800-OTHERS (1-800-843-7277). We hope this information will help make your visit to the Manatee National Park as enjoyable as possible!

Read : Wood Range Hood: 13 Things to Consider When Shopping for Range Hoods

Leave a Comment