Abstract: This report describes pathologic findings associated with mortality in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) (n = 68) between January 1996 and January 2004. The most frequent causes of death among these Florida manatees were trauma (47%), cold stress syndrome (CSS) (18%), inflammatory/infectious disease (12%), and suspected brevetoxicosis (9%). There were few perinatal deaths (7%). Probably all deaths due to trauma, as well as some, and perhaps many, cases of CSS, may be regarded as anthropogenic, reinforcing the need for conservation and management strategies to mitigate these impacts on this endangered species. Cause of death was determinable in a high proportion (94%) of sample cases, demonstrating the importance of performing timely gross and microscopic necropsy examinations on marine mammals.

Key Words: Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, pathology, Florida, cold stress syndrome, mortality

Document Type: Research article

DOI: 10.1578/AM.30.3.2004.434

Page Numbers: 434-440

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