Manatees live in oceans and rivers. Their range spans the tropical Atlantic region. The three species of manatee live along the east coast of the Americas and in the Caribbean, in the Amazon river basin, and in western Africa, respectively.
The best known species of manatee is the West Indian manatee. The Florida manatee is actually a subspecies of the West Indian. The West Indian manatee lives in warm waters off the coast of Central America, rivers in the south eastern region of the United States and in the open ocean surrounding the West Indies.
Amazonian manatees are entirely freshwater animals that live in slow-moving rivers and streams in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Guyana.
West African manatees are the least known species. They live along the coast of West Africa and in various interior rivers. They have been found as far inland as Chad, which is landlocked.