A new survey conducted in Florida revealed a massive number of manatees. For the third year in a row, locals have counted more than six thousand manatees which were swimming into Florida’s waters. An aerial study which ended at the beginning of this month presented a total number of 6,620 manatees. In 2015, there were spotted 6,063 and in 2016 approximately 6,250 such creatures.
Back in 1991, there were only 1,267 manatees. Preservation efforts have revealed positive results, achieving their goal. Apparently, scientists are not aware of the exact number of manatees. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stated that this year, 15 observers managed to count a massive number of manatees, being helped by the sunny weather.
Gil McRae, the head of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, claimed that the high number of manatees which were registered in the last three years had highlighted the importance of warm water in manatees’ habitat in Florida. The survey which was recently developed managed to count 3,488 manatees on Florida’s east coast and 3,132 more on the state’s west coast.
McRae also argued that this successful conservation process is due to many organizations’ efforts which fought for the preservation of this species. The annual count appears after the US Fish, and Wildlife Service is still debating their decision on to reclassify the West Indian manatee as either threatened or endangered.
Last year, the agency proposed this change, switching to a less concerning status due to crucial improvements which occurred in the habitat conditions and the population of manatees. The West Indian manatee also includes the Florida manatee. Cindy Dohner, the Southeast regional director for US Fish and Wildlife, argued that the recovery of the manatee’s population is encouraging, proving the significance of organizations’ conservation process.
The proposal of changing the status is not only meant to recognize the progress, but it is also intended to promise ourselves that we will keep the recovered population of manatees safe. The Pacific Legal Foundation, a property-rights organization, has struggled to determine the federal government to adopt the change, pointing out that it should follow the requirements included in the Endangered Species Act. This group has represented locals who formed the organization called Save Crystal River.
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