Phelps County, Florida, has the largest concentration of manatees in the country, according to data compiled by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Its manateer population grew by 8,912 acres from 2012 to 2014, the commission found.
It has a population of about 1,400.
The area has one of the lowest levels of man-made sinkholes in the state, according the commission, and has no sinkholes, no deepwater drainages or other hazards that pose a risk to the public, the department said.
The city has more than 3,000 acres of open land, including beaches, ponds and wetlands.
The Department of Parks and Recreation has the most people working on manateers, with a total of 1,611 people.
Its chief of staff, Chris Roesler, has about 10 years of experience, the report said.
Manatee habitat is endangered and threatened by human development, such as the construction of housing developments and highways, the bureau said.
“The manateee population is at an unsustainable level, and it’s only going to get worse,” Roeser said.