.     According to biologists, the record-breaking number of deaths is due to toxic algae blooms that deplete the water of essential oxygen.

A total of 769 manatees, a protected species in Florida, have died since the beginning of the year, and the number is still rising.

With more than two months still to go, nearly twice the number of manatees have already died in 2013 than died in all of 2012, Save the Manatee Club announced.

Of the total number of deaths, 123 were stillborn, newborn or young calves.

“With 2013’s catastrophic loss of manatee lives coming so close on the heels of the mass mortality suffered during 2010, the already difficult job to ensure the survival of these gentle and defenseless marine mammals has been made all the more challenging, and it’s not over yet,” said the club’s executive director Patrick Rose.

“What we put into our waters, how much we pump from our aquifer and draw from our springs and rivers, together with how we use our waterways, all has an impact on our own lives and the lives of every aquatic species.”

Please consider making a donation today to help Save The Manatee Club save more manatees from a similar fate.

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