Manatees Are No Longer Listed as Endangered Species
- Author: Carolyn Briggs Mar 31, 2017,
Mar 31, 2017, 7:56
Under the "threatened" classification, manatees are considered likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future.
Environmental activists opposed reclassifying the sea cows, saying there wasn't enough scientific justification.
"Unfortunately, when it comes to recognizing that a species is no longer endangered, or even threatened, and may not warrant federal intervention forever, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service typically stalls". "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.
Get Patch newsletters and alerts delivered to your inbox. Buchanan, however, doesn't believe that's true. While the species isn't completely secure after this move, it's certainly heartening that manatee populations have rebounded after coming so close to no longer appearing in the wild. In 2016, there were 520 deaths, more than 100 of which were caused by boats and other watercraft.
Manatees were among the first animals listed on the Endangered Species Protection Act of 1966, along with red wolves, grizzly bears, whooping cranes and American alligators. The creatures are also protected under the state's Manatee Sanctuary Act.
The animals still have protections under federal law, including controls on government permits for projects like marinas and boat ramps that can lead to manatee collisions with boats. The creatures are found in bodies of water scattered across the state during warmer months.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services shared this exciting news just one day after Manatee Appreciation Day.
"While there is still more work to be done to fully recover manatee populations, particularly in the Caribbean, manatee numbers are increasing and we are actively working with partners to address threats", said Jim Kurth, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's acting director.