The Manatee Rescue Club says manatees are used to hurricanes, but that doesn’t mean they don’t face threats.

St. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida is especially at risk during hurricane season.

Evacuation orders have been issued due to dangerous conditions, but what’s happening to the manatees in Florida’s waterways?

Patrick Rose, Executive Director Save the Manatee Club, said in a statement that Florida’s indigenous people are adapted to extreme weather conditions, but that doesn’t mean they don’t face risk just like the rest of us. Hurricanes can cause dramatic changes in manatee habitat.

During a storm, manatees can be swept away by storm waves and drift far inland to unfamiliar areas. This will leave the manatees in a completely altered habitat. For example, during a hurricane the water level may rise, but in some areas the water may recede, causing irregularly low levels that can strand manatees

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The Manatee Rescue Club says manatees, even if they are used to hurricanes, can become stressed, and sometimes calves can be separated from their mothers during storms.

After a severe storm, Save the Manatees and the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership will rescue those manatees that may be injured and stranded, Rose said.

If anyone sees a stranded, injured or dead manatee, they should call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-3922.

Storms can also spread water pollution, causing algal blooms or pollution, leaving manatees without viable habitat, the Manatee Rescue Club said.

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