The Three Sisters Springs, located in Crystal River Florida are an incredible lot of privately owned land that boasts some truly incredible crystal blue waters that can actually be swum in!
As mentioned, the waters are entirely privately owned, so access needs to be gained before entering the waters, and this is partly how the waters are able to remain so crystal clear!
However, easily one of the things that Three Sisters Springs is most famous for is its collection of manatees that populate the area.
These large mammals are actually rather adorable and are a total treat to witness in the wild, and Three Sisters Springs is one of the best places to see them.
However, the species has long been considered under threat, and while it may no longer be listed as endangered, it is very important to look out for the continued survival of the species. But what can we actually do to help manatees to survive as a species?
If you want to help out, then make sure to read on down below, because we are going to find out everything you can do to protect the manatees at Three Sisters Springs!
What Can We Do To Protect Manatees At Three Sisters Springs?
The manatees that populate Three Sisters Springs favor the area because of its fresh, crisp, and clean waters that are healthy for them, and contain plenty of natural foods for them to forage on.
In fact, the area is so popular that, in 2016, Three Sisters Springs was forced to close after a large number of manatees flooded the area to escape the chilly waters that had come in from the Gulf of Mexico!
As such, because the area is so important to manatees all over, it is important to protect the springs themselves.
If you ever visit the Springs yourself, make sure to avoid littering at all costs, and whenever you spot trash, discarded fishing lines floating in the water, or dotting the shores of the springs, make sure to remove them and dispose of them properly.
Another way that you can help to protect the springs is to support them directly. Make sure to visit the Springs often, and pay the entry fee, which allows the Springs to raise money to help conserve manatees and enact cleanup efforts to keep the waters fresh and beautiful.
You can also donate money directly to the Springs, to help them to carry out their efforts.
You should also make a point of visiting the Springs officially. This involves walking to the springs from official spots at the refuge so that pollutants from cars or motorized boats do not find their way to the waters.
When swimming at the springs, make sure to follow all rules and to treat the water and any manatees you come across with respect.
During seasons with high numbers of manatees, it is also possible to book manatee tours that allow you to observe the wonderful creatures for yourself. When involved with one of these tours, you must make sure to treat the manatees with the utmost respect.
How Can We Protect Manatees In General?
In order to help local populations of manatees, make sure to always be vigilant about litter near bodies of water. If you are engaged in outdoor events in your area, make sure to dispose of any trash you find lying around.
Small actions can have a great impact. If you want to help out, even more, you can also volunteer to join in with local cleanup efforts that help to remove massive amounts of trash from natural areas.
If you are piloting a vessel in local waters where manatees are known to propagate, then make sure that you operate your vehicle safely.
Make sure to lower the speed significantly so that you do not accidentally harm any manatees, but also so that you do not scare them away.
You can purchase guards that sit atop the propellers of many vessels, to help prevent them from hitting manatees that may be underneath.
When you are exploring local waters, you should also make sure to avoid shallow areas, as manatees may often find themselves beneath your vessel, and you do not want to run the risk of crushing one.
You can also donate to manatee research efforts to help them to carry out their work. Whenever you spot manatees in the wild that look injured, or may even be under some kind of threat, make sure to also contact local wildlife authorities and manatee research efforts.
This small action can significantly help with identifying potential threats to manatee populations before they become too significant!
As you can now see, there are many things you can do today to help manatee populations to survive into the future, and many of them are very easy.
Some may seem insignificant on the surface, but it is remarkable what an impact small things such as picking up trash can have on local manatee populations!
Make sure to donate to local manatee efforts, and especially make sure to donate to Three Sisters Springs, as this helps this amazing nature reserve to do its work towards protecting the environment, and local wildlife!
Whenever you pay the Springs a visit, make sure to be respectful of the rules, and of the nature that surrounds you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there alligators in Three Sisters Springs?
Because of Florida’s high concentration of alligators, it is likely that they may occasionally appear at Three Sisters Springs, however, this should not be a cause for concern, as alligators naturally avoid humans.
Do Manatees Bite Humans?
No. It would take considerable effort to make a manatee bite you. Manatees are incredibly docile herbivores that love human company and attention. If they ever feel threatened, they will simply swim away.
What Eats a Manatee?
The biggest threats to manatees are actually humans. While creatures like sharks, whales, and alligators could eat manatees, they generally don’t because they are unsuitable for their diet, and they often do not occupy the same waters.
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