Manatees on Alabama Coast
Manatee sightings along the Alabama coastline have been increasing over the last few years, but scientists are uncertain as to why the animals are congregating there. From the news:
"Ingram said the manatees appear to be migrating from Florida, as evidenced by the first reported sighting this year, two weeks ago in the Intracoastal Waterway.
"'They were headed into Alabama. The last reported sighting we had last year was also in the Intracoastal but headed toward Florida,' Ingram said. 'That's really neat. It looks like they are moving from Florida.'
"Over the last several years, Press-Register reporters have observed manatees, sometimes with young, in Fish River, Dog River, Fowl River, Mobile Bay and Grand Bay.
"Members of the public have reported seeing the creatures in some of those same areas, as well as Bayou La Batre, Halls Mill Creek, Rattlesnake Bayou and interior sections of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, such as McReynolds Lake.
"Scientists believe it's likely that the same animals are returning to the area each year, teaching their young where to find the best grazing areas.
"Manatees were once common in the area but were not seen in the 1970s or 80s. Then, in the mid-1990s, they began turning up again, coinciding with the resurgence of undersea grassbeds that had been lost on both sides of the bay."