Doing More for Manatees

A lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity has resulted in a federal study showing that Florida's endangered manatees—the playful creatures otherwise known as "sea cows"—are being killed each year at an unsustainable rate. The study found that 87 manatees are killed each year, mostly as a result of commercial and recreational boaters who run over the slow-swimming animals. This is seven times the number of deaths that would be sustainable for the species" recovery, according to scientists.

Florida manatees are being killed at seven times the sustainable rate each year.

As a result of the findings, and thanks to a petition by the Center and its allies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now considering expanding habitat protections for the Florida manatee. The manatee was first listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1973, and its habitat protection has not been updated since 1976, despite the fact that its numbers have never truly recovered.

SOURCE: Center for Biological Diversity.