Manatees and Climate change
Global warming isn’t a new problem for our world, but it is one that most of us don’t realize the true extend of. Even the manatees that thrive in warm water are affected by it. This is due to so many other elements of their natural environment being affected along the way. This is just one more reason why humans have to take responsibility for global warming and stop it in its tracks.
It is important to remember that the manatee can’t survive in water that is less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This can lead people to think that global warming is actually good for them but that isn’t the case. Instead, it can lead them into waters that are warm for a period of time but then end up getting colder. It can also lead them to think a new habitat could work well for them but there are many dangers lurking such a fishing boats that are in such areas.
When lakes and water ways begin to dry up due to global warming the manatees may find themselves stuck. They are very heavy and without sufficient amounts of water they won’t be able to get out of the area. Sometimes they are lucky enough for a rescue team to find them soon enough but that isn’t always the case. Too many of them end up starving to death or they become a meal for other predators.
That brings up another interesting point. When global warming increases, the food chain can be off balance. Manatees are plant eaters but they need the water and they need an abundance of plant life to survive. The warmer temperatures can prevent many of the plants from growing like they normally would.
At the same time these warmer temperatures can be taking a toll on the predators of the Manatees. More of their regular food sources could be scarce and as a result they will end up consuming more manatees that they ever did in the past. Along with warmer temperatures though also comes more exposure to bacteria and parasites.
These are big issues for the population of manatees. When a type of bacteria or parasite is among them it can quickly spread. This is more likely to happen during mating or migration when the manatees are in large groups instead of alone.
There are a variety of different toxins that can breed in the water too due to the warmer temperatures. There are many manatees’ that die each year and there is no known reason why it occurred. Many researchers believe it is due to exposure to a variety of such toxins in the water. These toxins are able to continue to grow in warmer areas. Therefore regions that were free of them in the past will now have them.
By the same token, the manatees may venture into waters they used to stay away from. This was due to the colder water there before. Now that it is warmer they may be attracted to it. Yet there may be many harmful elements there that they weren’t aware of and that will destroy them.
Global warming isn’t something that can be stopped without the help of everyone out there. The impact that one person has – either in a positive or a negative manner – is up to each of us. If we strive to reduce global warming by turning to alternatives we will have a better world to live in. We will also have the stability of the natural order of things in the world. Should the manatees become extinct due in part to global warming it will definitely upset the natural balance of things. Let’s hope that enough changes are made early enough for us to never have to find out what the world is like without them.