I just heard that the U.S. Fish and Wild Life Service is reviewing the status of us manatees. They may change our status from endangered to threatened. There are two sides of people who are involved with this issue. One side doesn’t want to change our endangered status because of the ongoing threat of our habitat, red tide, and other ongoing dangers we face. However the other side feels we’re doing just fine.
Pat Rose, The Executive Director of the Save the Manatee Club explained he would challenge any movement to reclassify the manatee as “threatened.” In particular, the 2007 status review demonstrates manatees still face significant risks from habitat loss, disease and other threats, such as watercraft strikes and cold snaps. “All indications are that things are worse not better,” Mr. Rose said. “We’re going to make sue that the service has all of that information available to them.”
A lawsuit to change our current status was filed by The Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of Save Crystal River, Inc. This nonprofit group is having issues about new manatee idle-speed regulations, along with expanded manatee refuge sites in Kings Bay.
Chuck Underwood, a spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said, “On a practical scale, there is little-to-no difference,” in protection with a “threatened” verses an “endangered” status.
Well – I hope both sides can work this out and come to some type of agreement. Because I want all of my manatee friends and me to enjoy a long healthy life. And besides – I want to keep writing to you!
~ Kobee Manatee