The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, home to the Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat, announces it has secured an additional state funded grant for $718,700 to be used in the expansion of its manatee care and rehabilitation program.
Bradenton, Fla. – The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature announced today that funds appropriated through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will provide supplementary assets for manatee rescue and rehabilitation. Upgrades include emergency transportation, veterinary lab equipment, and renovation of a newly leased facility in Myakka City. Theseadditional resources will increase The Bishop’s statewide efforts by 10% to rescue, rehabilitate, and return manatees safely to their natural environment.
Wild manatees are facing more challenges than ever due to an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) affecting Florida’s manatee population. A UME is defined by the Marine Mammal Protection Act as a significant die-off that demands immediate response. Since 2020, more manatees were lost to the current UME than any other period in our state’s history and continues to be a persistent, driving force behind the effort to provide both critical emergency and short-term care of manatees.
“The second funding award we received will help us purchase much needed equipment for transport, manatee handling and care, and veterinarian equipment to help with manatee illness and injury diagnosis and treatment,” said Virginia Edmonds, Director of Animal Service at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, “Being able to expand The Bishop’s involvement in the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership through additional second stage manatee holding and acute care space is a commitment to manatees, manatee conservation, and our rescue and rehabilitation partners that we are grateful to support and participate in.”
The Bishop has been rehabilitating manatees since 1998 and was a founding member of the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP) in 2001. The MRP is a cooperative of nonprofit, private, state, and federal entities that rescue, rehabilitate, and return manatees to the wild.
The Bishop’s Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat is a Stage 2 rehabilitation facility—a temporary home where manatees come after their initial critical-care needs have been met in manatee hospitals. This second-stage facility offers manatees the opportunity to gain exposure to natural foods and feeding strategies while gaining weight for their return to the wild. You can help with the rescue and rehabilitation of Florida manatees; a monthly gift will help us feed and care for rehabilitating manatees until they are healthy enough to go home! You can become a manatee’s Bishop Foster Friend (BFF) by visitinghttps://BishopScience.org/BFF