Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Manatee Federal Status Change?

Despite a rash of recent manatee deaths in Lee County, the Associated Press is reporting that the marine mammal's federal status as an "endangered" species may change. It is a situation that may anger those, like myself, with our "Save The Manatee" Florida license plates displayed on the backs of our cars, however, there is no real reason to worry. The change would move the manatee to the status of "threatened," which, in reality, has no significance, since the same state and federal protections would remain in effect.
Regardless, it has been a bad year so far, and 2006 was the worst on record. In March, 26 manatees died in Lee County, the suspected result of toxins from a bloom of red tide. 72 sea cows have died in Florida as of March 23rd. Last year, 417 manatee deaths were reported.

You can read the whole story here.