Manatees May Be Taken Off Endangered Species List

Categories: Environmental

manatee560.jpg
Photo: US Fish and Wildlife's Flickr
Ask any Floridians a Family Feud-style query of "Name things we should protect," and they'll instinctually shout back at you "Manatees." Along with Florida panthers, those plump little sea cows are practically synonymous with endangered species in the state. We're brought up from a young age with a general sense that they need to be saved.

Well, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service isn't so sure they should be considered endangered species anymore, and has taken the first step towards reclassifying them as merely threatened. The move was spurred by a petition and lawsuit from the Pacific Legal Foundation, a pro-business law firm with a particular interest in deregulating environmental laws that they feel infringe on people's property rights. It's the same law firm that successfully fought to have the Bald Eagle removed from the endangered species list.

See also: Floridians Warned Not to Interrupt Big Manatee Orgies

The PFL is representing an organization called Save Crystal River. That group is basically concerned with boating restrictions in Kings' Bay in Crystal River. Their website indicates they believe that as many as 1,400 manatees could be living in Kings' bay in the next 10 to 15 years, and that the manatee population has recovered to the point that it no longer be considered threatened.

"They're trying to keep the government honest and have the government acknowledge the progress that manatees have made," Christina M. Martin, an attorney for PFL told The Sun-Sentinel. "They are afraid of the potential that they couldn't use the bay at all, that they couldn't fish or put down an anchor."

Crystal River, located off the coast of Citrus County Florida, runs between the Florida mainland and a small collection of islands. Before it feeds into the Gulf of Mexico it runs through Kings Bay, and basically locals are concerned that all of the bay could be turned into a manatee sanctuary that would require all boats traveling through to remain at idle speeds. That would slow down boaters' trips to the Gulf.

The Fish and Wildlife Service will now conduct a status review to see if manatees still meet the requirements for endangered status.

A reclassification would have no immediate effect on regulations like no-speed zones and development restrictions that are in place to protect the animals, but some worry that a reclassification would make it easier to challenge those laws in court.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

My Voice Nation Help
22 comments
Diane Adams
Diane Adams

Ridiculous , give them a chance to survive. Remember Christopher Haik what "goes around comes around"...

Mario Sanchez
Mario Sanchez

@dave pazos... Obviously you have short term memory. Maybe referring to you as Dori would help, seeing as you're master ocean expert and all. The point you were trying to make is that there are so many manatees, that they shouldn't be considered "endangered". So while cold snaps can't be prevented, keeping tough restrictions and laws to prevent fools like you from hurting or killing them, do help. Reading comprehension. You never got through that part of 3rd grade huh?

Patrick Quinlan
Patrick Quinlan

oh, i didn't know humans had stopped recreational boating!

Dave Denis
Dave Denis

Pazo sells lanwmowers and of course "likes" speedboats ;) "I seen hundreds of them Manatoseses thingy's when I be out a'speedboatin ! I don't want them critters a'gettin in my way while i'ma drinkin and smoking and a'speedin in my speedboat !!!" ;)

Dave Denis
Dave Denis

Pazos sees the ocean and rivers as $$$$$$$$$, animals as product, he's what's wrong with the world.

Dave Pazos
Dave Pazos

So placing more manatee restriction zones will prevent cold snaps? Also, not sure where you read that 1/4 of an entire species died at one time but I can assure you it's hearsay.

Mario Sanchez
Mario Sanchez

Although large, these animals have no blubber to keep them warm

Mario Sanchez
Mario Sanchez

Seeing as any cold snap can kill hundreds at a time (as it did about 2 years ago, andwhere they estimated 1/4 of total population died) maybe Dave is the one that needs to keep quiet on subjects he knows little about.

Dave Pazos
Dave Pazos

Assholes who have never spent years on the water nor worked in the marine industry should keep shut.

Renier Casanova
Renier Casanova

So should we disregard them since they're now in abundance thanks to laws that helped preserve their numbers? LOLOLOL

Dave Pazos
Dave Pazos

Manatees are the most plentiful endagered species in the world. Anybody who's been on the water or lives on the water has seen hundreds of them

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

Ask any Floridians a Family Feud-style query of "Name things we should protect," and they'll instinctually shout back at you "Manatees." 

You would be wrong.........Nature's speed-bump have many who share no special and emotional, yet illogical need to protect a species that neither needs nor deserves protection.


In fact you very article mentions a group, Save Crystal River.that doesn't agree with you.


BTW  I was born and raised in South Florida.  I spent much time exploring and just spending time on the waterways and coastlines of Dade, Broward and Monroe counties.  I can identify pretty much every native bird, mammal, reptile and fish you can find here.


Why do I get the feeling that the author of this article's only experience with our waters is by drinking a mojito while sitting on a beach chair on South Beach?

hlain9152
hlain9152 topcommenter

If you're not being sarcastic then you're and idiot and the perfect excuse for abortion, which I would not normally agree with but I would make an exception in your case

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...