Manatees may drop off endangered list – Fishupdate.com

Manatees may drop off endangered list Published:  10 April, 2007

THE U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said yesterday that it is considering reclassifying the manatee as threatened instead of endangered: a move that would indicate the animal has rebounded from the brink of extinction.

The manatee would still remain protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, making it illegal to harass, poach or kill the animals, reports the Globe and Mail.

A five-year Fish and Wildlife review of manatees is set to be released later this week, agency spokesman Chuck Underwood said. He would not say whether it will recommend the changed status because it is not yet complete.

The agency plans to say that the manatee “no longer meets the definition of an endangered species,” according to the memo sent to the White House.

Threatened species are still protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. “Endangered” means an animal is at a foreseeable risk of extinction. “Threatened” means a species could become endangered if protections were not maintained.

Mr Underwood said the memo was drafted after a review of the manatee’s progress, and government officials have not made a final decision on the issue yet.

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