"Federal wildlife managers want Florida’s manatee, the whiskered lumbering icon that came to represent the fight to save the state’s vulnerable wildlife, removed from the endangered species list.
In a news conference at the Miami Seaquarium on Thursday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that a population estimated at just over 6,000 should be reclassified as simply “threatened” despite a record number of deaths in recent years. They called the down-listing a positive move signaling a recovery and stressed that the change would not reduce protections already in place.
“Based on the best available scientific information, we believe the manatee is no longer in danger of extinction,” said Mike Oetker, the agency’s deputy regional director. “While we’re proposing this change in class, we also recognize there are areas we have to do better.” "