Manatees are removed from endangered species list

The U.S. Department of the Interior downlisted the West Indian manatee from endangered to threatened.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Increases in population and habitat improvements mean manatees will now be considered a “threatened” species. Photo by Carlton Ward Jr. for Visit Florida.

Increases in population and habitat improvements mean manatees will now be considered a “threatened” species. Photo by Carlton Ward Jr. for Visit Florida.

The U.S. Department of the Interior downlisted the West Indian manatee from endangered to threatened.

Notable increases in manatee populations and improvements in its habitat allowed the change in status under the Endangered Species Act.

In its review, the federal Fish and Wildlife Service considered the status of the West Indian manatee throughout its range, which includes the Florida manatee subspecies, found primarily in the southeastern United States, and the Antillean manatee, found in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Central America, northern South America and the Greater and Lesser Antilles.

The downlisting means the manatee is no longer considered in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, but is likely to become so in the foreseeable future without continued legal protections.

Protections such as slow-speed zones will remain in place, and manatees also will continue to be protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Today’s estimated population of 6,620 Florida manatees is a dramatic turnaround from the 1970s, when just a few hundred remained.

Click here for the final rule.

Related

NMMA Confirms Industry Growth

NMMA president Frank Hugelmeyer said the boating business grew 12 percent last year during yesterday’s virtual State of the Boating Industry address.

Newport Show Dates Announced

Organizers are planning for an in-person Golden Anniversary edition of the show Sept. 16-19.

Quick Hits: March 5, 2021

The National Association of Manufacturers names Brunswick Corp. CFO Ryan Gwillim to its Board of Directors.

Caught Red-Handed

Two commercial fishermen were jailed for possessing an illegal haul that included 100 undersized lobster tails, which is a felony. Also, fisheries management gets new funding.

Bennington Expands Operations

The pontoon builder plans to add jobs at its new facility in Elkhart County, Ind., and increase manufacturing output.

KVH Industries Names CFO

Longtime telecom financial executive Roger A. Kuebel assumes the position that COO Brent Bruun had held in an interim capacity.