Against the advice of biodiversity scientists, federal officials are proposing to change the Florida manatee's status from "endangered species" to "threatened". While the manatee population has made some strides toward recovery—due in part to improved boater education and no-wake zones—manatees are still far from recovered, and need the protection that comes with endangered status.
Pressure to delist the manatee comes from businesses that profit from recreational boating. As an endangered species, protections for the manatee include consequences for boaters speeding through manatee habitat. This is a considerable risk: the Center for Biological Diversity warns that manatees are still at considerable risk from boats and climate change.
Please join me in asking the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to keep the Florida manatee protected as an endangered species!
To the United States Fish and Wildlife Service:
I urge you to rethink your proposal to change the status of the Florida manatee (also known as the West Indian manatee) from "endangered" to "threatened". It appears that the driving force behind this measure is the recreational boating industry. There's no valid reason for boaters to speed through manatee habitat, and the Center for Biological Diversity warns that manatees are still at considerable risk from boats and climate change.
The population of manatees has partially recovered, but that is a testament to the effectiveness of current protections, especially no wake zones and speed limits. Removing their protections as an endangered species will put them back at risk.
[your comment here]
Please keep the Florida manatee protected as an endangered species!