The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has announced a proposed rule to reclassify the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Listed as endangered in 1967, the species’ Florida population has jumped from an estimated 1,267 in 1991 to an estimated 6,300 today. FWS has stated that protection measures currently in place for the manatee would not change under the reclassification. The species would also remain protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Comments on the proposed rule can be submitted until April 8, 2016.
To learn more about the proposed rule and to submit comments, go to the Federal Register.