News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

Manatees make annual appearance on the Outer Banks

Date Posted: 2020-07-08
Source: OBX Today

Manatees stopped to visit the Outer Banks over the holiday weekend, showing up in the canals of Colington.

Usually associated with Florida and its warmer waters, Manatee sightings have become a more regular occurrence locally, with the creatures swimming as far north as coastal Virginia during summer migration season, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The manatee is protected marine mammal and any sightings should be reported to the USFWS. Last year, there were several sightings of manatees along the Outer Banks and into Virginia Beach through late fall, with one manatee death in Virginia Beach likely due to cold-water stress.

Usually associated with Florida and its warmer waters, Manatee sightings have become a more regular occurrence locally, with the creatures swimming as far north as coastal Virginia during summer migration season, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Please, call to report all manatee sightings, including any live, distressed and dead manatees:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office
Call: 919-856-4520

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Law Enforcement – North Carolina
Call: 919-856-4786, extension 34

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
Call: 800-662-7137

For more information about manatees in North Carolina, click here.

 

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  • Comment submitted by Gary Haring - Fri, Jul 10th

    The question is why are manatees venturing so far north? Warmer northern waters? Over population of home waters? Pollution?  Food supply? Reproductive pressures?  Predators? All the above?  It would be interesting to know as obviously they can barley survive the winters in Florida let alone OBX winter temperatures so why endure  the dangers associated with a migration? Florida has its share of the possibilities mentioned above but knowing the driving force might explain why they ventured form their original Caribbean habitat to Florida to begin with.  We all share One Ocean but only in knowing the science can we know if it is something to be worried about.  I am sure someone smart may have already done the research.

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