Wildlife officials are poised to move manatees off the endangered species list and upgrade their status to threatened, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Commission announced Thursday. 2So no Manatee roasts (I hear it's excellent; almost as good as mermaid).
"We believe the manatee is no longer in danger of extinction," said Michael Edgar with the FWC.
The designation acknowledges the success of conservation efforts in Florida over the past 25 years. They've included boat speed restrictions and manatee protection areas which helped ensure the animals wouldn't be bothered by humans.
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The proposal to downlist will not affect federal protections currently in place by the ESA.
It's good news. I remember swimming with Manatees in the shallow waters near the Fort Pierce Inlet along with my young son, Corwin, and seeing them come into the ship channel at Harbor Branch Institution (now Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution), where I did my post-doc.
“The manatee’s recovery is incredibly encouraging and a great testament to the conservation actions of many,” said Cindy Dohner, the Service’s Southeast Regional Director in conjunction with an event at the Miami Seaquarium to announce the Service’s proposal. “Today’s proposal is not only about recognizing this progress, but it’s also about recommitting ourselves to ensuring the manatee’s long-term success and recovery. (Photo: S. Whitcraft, USFWS) http://1.usa.gov/1OdsrRG