Episode 802: Manatees: Conserving a Marine Mammal
The lovable Florida manatee draws thousands of tourists to Crystal River every year. This sanctuary is also a treasure for scientists, who take advantage of the winter gatherings of hundreds of manatees in the shallow, clear water to study this marine mammal. One particular research group is using cutting-edge technology to detect manatees in the water without even seeing them, using their DNA. The conservation of Florida's state marine mammal now relies on some fundamental scientific questions. What is a healthy population of manatees? And do we have enough habitat and food sources to support a growing population?