Upgrading Manatees’ Status


Since my teen years, I have been a very keen tourist, and over the past decades I have spent most of my trekking in the woods where the bears are numerous – the Rocky Mountains in Montana, the Green Mountains in Vermont and the perennial pine plantations of northeast Florida.

But I have never noticed a bear in the wild. I would like, in the right circumstances, namely not to be within half a mile of grizzly, or somewhere close to Mommy a black bear with her little ones.

On the other hand, although I am a part-time occupant and many occasional motorists, I have many times encountered Lamantes in Florida. I saw them appear in the ramp for the boats on the inland waterway, along the ancient fortress walls of Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, and the 72-degree waters of the Blue Spring State Park near Sanford where they gather in cold weather to escape from the cool St Johns River. Even sometimes I can see them from the apartment balcony in downtown Fort Lauderdale as they swim in the New River, 17 floors below.

The Manatees are not so beautiful, and perhaps not as sweet as your average bear. But in my experience, they were a nice accessible mammal on big tickets.

Still, despite accessibility, manatas are considered to be threatened for the entire period in which I have met them. For a species that is supposed to face a significant risk of extinction, the Lamans are unusually easy to find.

Now, however, wildlife representatives seem ready to admit what many laymen could say to them for a long time. Maniatas have not disappeared, even in Florida, where casual and fast yachts pose the greatest risks to their populations.

At a recent press conference, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the marine landscape population should be reclassified as "threatened" rather than threatened. Officials said the change reflects the recovery of the population; environmentalists have counted slightly more than 1,200 marathons in Florida in 1991, while the current estimate is over 6300. Worldwide, FWS estimates the population of Lamantine is about 13,000.

The announcement commemorates the beginning of a 90-day period in which the public can submit comments to the agency on the proposed change. The FWS will then take a final decision.

Despite the good news for the recovery of the manan populations, there are also those who oppose the change of name. US envoy Verne Buchanan, R-Fla., Has already sent a letter called the proposed change "misguided and premature". (1) Pat Rose, executive director of the Save the Manatee club, told Miami Herald that FWS's confidence that existing protections would remain in place is insufficient.

"Between 2010 and 2013, the population has gone back and do not even talk about it," Rose said. (2) Critics of the plan suggest that the size of the population should not be the arbiter of the success of the defense, but rather how effectively these protections lead the animals out of harm.

The Endangered Species Act is like a stupid legislative instrument to ensure the conservation objectives of wildlife. It's not a matter of humane treatment of individual animals, despite critics' protests. Instead, the law is designed to protect the entire gene pool of species in extreme circumstances when the very survival of this species is at risk. As such, it encourages rigorous measures that will not apply in cases where the danger is less acute.

Maniatas and all other marine life still guarantee protection from negligence and consequent injury and cruelty. Missing natural predators, marine personalities face major threats of human activity, ranging from habitat loss to deadly collisions with fast-moving boats or boats. In order to further promote the recovery and safety of the seafarer, such legal protection will remain important for a long time, if not indefinitely. Some of these protections will remain in force due to the federal-level Marine Mammal Protection Act and the State-level Florida Manate Asylum Act, none of which will be affected by the FWS decision.

It is also worth recalling that endangered species still receive a lot, albeit not all, federal defenses that are provided to endangered species. Recognizing that marathons are threatened and not threatened will primarily give FWS the power to fine-tune the defense best suited to the needs of the population in different areas. Identifying manikins as endangered would mean recognizing the continuing need for protection, while allowing for more flexibility in delivering them.

Partnerships between local authorities and private interests can provide conditions in which wildlife receives the protection it needs while human activity can continue in a productive and safe way. While such cooperation is not always easy to organize, it will ultimately benefit everyone, rather than the more rigorous measures needed when a being is really on the brink of extinction.

Applying draconian provisions to the Endangered Species Act in situations where they are not justified is a form of crying wolf, which means that the law may not be available to protect the species that really need it. One of these species, in fact, was the wolf – whose status and exclusion from the list of endangered in different countries is a sort of dispute.

But this is a fairy tale (or maybe a queue?) For another day.


1) WLRN, "The Federal Reserve seeks to change the status of Lamantine to" Threatened "

2) Miami Herald, "Florida lamas in line to lose the" endangered "type of label, federal say move is a sign of recovery"