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Manatees removed from list of endangered species
Manatees, the giant marine mammal also known as sea cow, will no longer get special protections as they have been taken off the U.S. Interior Department’s list of endangered species.
Federal wildlife authorities announced on Thursday that they reclassified manatees as threatened species. Conservationists were quick to condemn the decision saying it would weaken protections for the marine mammal.
Patrick Rose, the executive director for Save the Manatee Club, said, “We believe this is a devastating blow to manatees. A federal reclassification at this time will seriously undermine the chances of securing the manatee’s long- term survival.”
The relisting of manatees points to a population rebound by the West Indian manatee along the Florida coastline that extends from the southeastern U.S. to the Caribbean basin.
As per official data, the species’ population has swelled to more than 6,600 in Florida alone. In the 1970s, the population had slipped to just a few hundred.
The population of manatees flourished as the federal government provided the species with special protections, such as setting up manatee sanctuaries and imposing speed limits on boats to prevent collisions, over the last three decades.