Manatee no longer listed as endangered

01 April, 2017, 01:44 | Author: Sam Montgomery
  • Manatees have experienced a dramatic turnaround and are no longer in imminent danger of extinction

That means manatees are no longer in danger of extinction, but their numbers are still small enough that they should be protected.

However, it is something that would have been unexpected only a few years ago after the manatee population was decimated throughout its various habitats in Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, among other locations.

But Pat Rose of the Save the Manatee Club says the assessment does not include large die-offs in 2010 and 2013. The new status will not loosen the existing federal protections set for the manatees, and they will still be protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services shared this exciting news just one day after Manatee Appreciation Day. "It needs to be reversed".

Buchanan said he is planning to reach out to the secretary of the Interior to reconsider and overturn the decision.

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The nonprofit Save the Manatee Club pointed out there were no plans to reduce watercraft-related manatee deaths, which have reached a "record high" in recent years. We were also shocked that, in addition to Florida manatees, manatees in the wider Caribbean will also lose this key protection.

Conservation efforts by local governments, industries, businesses and private citizens contributed to the manatees' recovery, though challenges remain, FWS representatives warned.

The final decision to reclassify manatees is a "milestone" for the species, the federal government reported Thursday. With regard to Florida manatees in particular, Rose stated, "FWS chose to prematurely downlist manatees without a proven viable plan for reducing record-high watercraft-related manatee deaths and without establishing a long-term plan for the anticipated loss of artificial winter warm water habitat on which more than 60% of the Florida manatee population depends".

While the manatees' revised status represents improvement in their prospects, a threatened species is still considered to be at risk, as it is "likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range", according to the Endangered Species Act.

As The Washington Post points out, "the Center for Biological Diversity also opposed the federal reclassification, calling 2016 "the deadliest year to date" for the animals".

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