Published: Jan 12, 2013 10:33 AM EST

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) - The number of recorded manatee deaths in Florida dropped in 2012 to the lowest number in four years.
    
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says 392 manatee deaths were counted last year, down from 453 a year earlier.
    
Officials are crediting warmer temperatures with helping save the endangered manatees. The highest recorded count of manatee deaths was 766 in 2010, when the sea creatures suffered through an unseasonably cold winter.
    
FWC officials tell Treasure Coast Newspapers they've also stepped up efforts to educate the public about keeping manatees safe.

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