The West Indian Manatee, or sea-cow as they’re affectionately known, is no longer considered endangered according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), as such they have been downgraded from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act. They were originally enlisted as endangered around 50 years ago after overhunting and collisions with boats dramatically reduced their population sizes.
In 1991 the population in Florida was around 1267, nowadays there are more than 6,300 in Florida alone and researches estimate around 13,000 live in their natural habitats around the Caribbean and the northern coasts of Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.
Cindy Dohner, FWS Southeast Regional Director, said in a press release ;”The manatee’s recovery is incredibly encouraging and a great testament to the conservation actions of many. Today’s proposal is not only about recognizing this progress, but it’s also about recommitting ourselves to ensuring the manatee’s long-term success and recovery.”
So not completely out of danger yet but it’s looking pretty good for the old sea cow. Well done to all involved!