Manatee season is nearly over at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge in Florida, established in 1983 specifically for the protection of the endangered West Indian Manatee. And, if you watch the video above, you can almost imagine the manatees breathing a sign of relief. Manatee season in the park is November 1 to March 31. Every winter, people descend to adore the manatees. But are we loving them to death? Conservation photographer Cristina Mittermeier made this video with fellow photographer Neil Ever Osborne. Around the middle, notice the manatee stampede. Mittermeier says this happens several times a day when a sudden loud noise onshore scares them.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.