Awesome decals do great things for manatees, sea turtles
What looks awesome and does great things for manatees and sea turtles? The latest editions of colorful waterproof manatee and sea turtle decals from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) that are available July 1.
With each donation of $5 or more, individuals will receive their choice of one of this year’s decals and contribute to the conservation of these endangered and threatened species. Funds generated from the decals are used for research as well as rescue and management efforts to maintain healthy populations of manatees and sea turtles in Florida waters.
“Your kayak, canoe, paddleboard, motorboat or personal watercraft will look even better with a manatee or sea turtle decal. Or get both decals and put them on vehicles, laptops or wherever else you decide to display them,” said Carol Knox, FWC leader of imperiled species management.
“Decals are a fun way for you to help conserve manatees and sea turtles so they will be here for future generations,” Knox added.
Each year, the decals are redesigned by the FWC to address important conservation issues. The reverse sides contain information on conservation.
Tracking wild manatees is the theme of this year’s manatee decal. For over 20 years, FWC research staff have been detectives, tracking the travels of manatees along Florida’s coasts and rivers. To track manatees, researchers attach a buoyant radio tag containing a Global Positioning System transmitter to a padded belt around their tail. The GPS-transmitted locations then provide a detailed record of the manatees’ movements and migratory behavior. Wildlife managers use the tracking data to improve the management strategies used for continued recovery of this large aquatic mammal.
Do not disturb sea turtles is the theme of the new sea turtle decal. Seeing sea turtles crawl onto the beach at night and lay dozens of eggs is a special experience. However, it’s important that you do not disturb the large females digging their sandy nests or the small hatchlings that eventually break out of the eggs and head for the sea. Do not get close, shine lights on, or take flash photos of them. Also, remove items from the beach at night and turn off or shield lights that can be seen from the beach through the end of the nesting season in October.
The decals are available at local tax collectors’ offices throughout the state by checking the box on the form when you renew a vehicle or boat registration by mail, or directly from the FWC.
To report injured, sick, entangled or dead manatees or sea turtles, contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline by calling 1-888-404-3922 (FWCC), #FWC or *FWC on a cellphone, or by texting Tip@MyFWC.com.