With so many endangered species nowadays, it’s hard to keep count and now comes the question: the manatee to be or not to be extinct?
- The Florida manatee and the green sea turtles are no longer endangered
- The manatee population has increased by 500%
- The manatees are sure to face extinction once again now that they are only on the threatened species list
There are so many endangered animal species on Earth that scientists and authorities keep their count by making lists. On the lists they are split into “endangered” and “threatened”. The animals which appear on the “endangered” list are very few in numbers due to heavy illegal hunting, pollution and global warming which affects their environments.
In comparison, the animals on the “threatened” list are considered to have a lower risk of extinction, their numbers not being so few. However, just as the
endangered animals, they are also threatened by the same elements: hunting, global warming and pollution.
The Florida manatees have been on the endangered list for almost a quarter of a century but now they passed onto the threatened species list as their numbers have increased. The same thing happened with green
sea turtles which are also increasing in population.
Who made the decision of switching the lists? The Fish and Wildlife Service. However, many marine biologists disagree with the decision. The reason behind this disagreement is that the population of manatees only increased in numbers in certain regions such as the Gulf of Mexico and Florida.
Meanwhile, in other regions, manatees are still too few. One of these regions is Belize. In the last year no less than 40 manatees have died because of diverse human factors such as pollution or even fishing nets. This year 4 manatees have already been found dead, although we are only at the half of the first month.
So why does the listing matter so much? Marine biologists believe that manatees passing as only “threatened” can mean that the human population will no longer take concern of the matter. They will stop being careful as they will believe that the animals are no longer entitled to protection. This, of course, will further lead to the manatees eventually getting back on the endangered species list.
Even if the manatees’ population has indeed increased over the past years, rising by approximately 500%, they still need to be protected so as not to turn back to where they started.