© 2021 All Rights reserved WUSF
News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Environment

Florida Lawmakers Want Manatees Listed As 'Endangered'

Some Florida lawmakers want manatees back on the endangered species list.

Last month, the announced that the large marine mammal was now considered "threatened" instead of "endangered" because its population had increased. The status upgrade didn't change any federal for manatees.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Florida, wrote Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke last week, asking him to overturn that decision. According to a  statement from the Sarasota Republican's office, 10 other representatives from Florida from both parties also signed the letter.

The letter said the wildlife service's decision was "potentially very harmful to the survival of the iconic Florida animal." It also said state and local officials could consider weakening manatee protections such as slow-speed boating zones because of the wildlife service's decision.

There's an estimated population of 6,620 manatees in Florida.

Copyright 2017 Health News Florida

WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.