Source: US Geological Survey
According to a new study by the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Florida’s manatees—beloved subjects of many a visiting underwater photographer—will be around for the next 100 years. The research team concluded that the population will double over the next 50 years before plateauing.
When the federal Endangered Species Act went into effect in 1973, the West Indian manatee—of which the Florida manatee is a subspecies—was one of the first to be designated “endangered.” However, now that conservation measures have allowed the population to recover, the manatee’s status has finally been changed: On March 30, this year, that status was amended to “threatened”—one classification less grave than previously.
“Manatee populations will continue to face threats,” said USGS researcher Michael C. Runge, lead author of the study. “But if these threats continue to be managed effectively, manatees will be an integral and iconic part of Florida’s coastal ecosystems through the coming century.”
Read more here.
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