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Manatee in Crystal River, Florida. Manatees are extraordinary and beautiful mammals. They can be found all over the Caribbean Sea. However, in Florida there is an important community of these magnificent animals. Without a doubt, Crystal River is the home of the Florida manatee.

Manatees prefer tropical and subtropical waters. You will never see a manatee in cold water, as its body is not adapted to withstand low temperatures. They also like shallow water.

The city of Crystal River is a city located in Citrus County, Florida. It is home to one of the existing subspecies of manatee. The Florida manatee or Trichechus manatus latirostris.

Manatees are herbivores. They are also known as sea cows, because they eat sea grass. Their grazing helps maintain the balance of the different ecosystems where they live. It is estimated that an adult manatee can eat about 10% of its body weight.

The Florida Manatee, a subspecies of the Caribbean Manati

The Caribbean manatee (Trichechus manatus) is a species that lives from the Gulf of Mexico to the mouth of the Amazon River. This species of manatee is distributed throughout the northwest and southwest Atlantic Ocean, as well as in the Caribbean Sea. The range includes the Gulf of Mexico.

It should be noted that this species of manatee has been found as far north as the state of Rhode Island and even as far north as the Bahamas.

The Florida manatee, or Trichechus manatus latirostris, is only found in US waters, mainly in the Florida peninsula. The city of Crystar River is home to this subspecies of the Caribbean Manatee.

Crystal Rivers the home of the Manatee

Without a doubt, Crystal Rivers is the home of the Manatee. In fact, this beautiful city is known as the “Manatee Capital of the World”. Its warm waters are home to manatees all year round. However, between the months of November and March the number of manatees increases, because they take refuge in the warm waters of Crystal Rivers.

In addition, the city is home to the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. A place for manatees. The refuge was established in 1983 as part of the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System.

Can I Swim with the Manatees?

Swim with the Manatees
Manatee in Crystal River, Florida

Crystal River, along with the city of Homosassa, are the only places in the United States where a person can legally swim with manatees. Of course, there are several rules that must be followed in order to get close to these spectacular animals.

We must remember, the Manatee is protected under the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, and the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

In fact, the Manatee is considered an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Cystal River has a wide range of tourist facilities for swimming with Manatees. However, there are a number of rules that must be followed to protect the manatees.

Manatees are docile creatures, which do not show aggression towards humans. Of course, the agencies offering these services must indicate, before the tour, the rules to be followed by the people swimming with the manatees.

One of the basic rules is passive observation. This means that the person should not initiate any kind of contact with the manatees. Also, do not approach the manatees, especially those that are resting. Another very important point is not to enter areas marked with “Closed Area” signs.

Crystal River, the home of the Manatee, is a wonderful city, which will allow you to have an unforgettable contact with nature. Its parks and natural refuges will give you the opportunity to enjoy the natural wonders that this area has to offer.

And of course, the opportunity to have a unique approach with the manatees. Crystal River is worth a visit.

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