- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014

HOMOSASSA, Fla. (AP) - Wildlife officials say they’re trying to give manatees more space in a Florida spring also popular with swimmers and kayakers.

Hundreds of manatees congregate during winter months at the Three Sisters Springs in the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. Manager Andrew Gude said Monday that manatees often compete for space with people who also enjoy the warm waters in the 1.5-acre springs.

Wildlife officials have proposed some interim measures to protect the manatees this winter, including spring closures when temperatures drop and the number of manatees increases. Areas where kayaks could be secured to reduce crowding in the springs also have been installed. Officials also want to restrict flash photography of the large marine mammals.

Public comment on the interim measures is open for 14 days.

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Online:

Proposed measures to protect manatees at Three Sisters Springs: https://www.fws.gov/news/ShowNews.cfm?ID=4E987A4B-D732-00AA-BD3DC3124EC181E5

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