Officials with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission say down-listing manatees from endangered to threatened won’t change the level of protection the marine mammals get…but not everyone agrees. Incoming Executive Director of the Save the Manatee Club - Patrick Rose - says reclassifying the manatee didn’t happen because manatees are suddenly less endangered, but because the state adopted new definitions of what it means to be endangered or threatened. He says while Florida adopted the exact same criteria for endangered as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature…or IUCN… it calls that same criteria threatened.
“So it’s not hard to understand…if manatees meet the exact criteria for endangered under IUCN but the state calls it threatened, a species that meets the endangered category, will be called threatened.”
According to a state report about half the current manatee population will be gone in 45 years. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission’s decision to down list manatees came on a unanimous vote.
Monday, 12 June 2006 01:00
Manatee Reclassification #2Written by Mike Kiniry