As a result of major improvements in the population growth of the West Indian Manatee, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today that the West Indian Manatee is proposed to be down-listed from endangered to threatened status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposal to down-list the West Indian Manatee to threatened, will not affect federal protections currently afforded by the ESA, and the Service remains committed to conservation actions to fully recover manatee populations and habitat conditions.
The ESA defines an endangered species as one currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, and a threatened species as one that is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future.
The review is based on the best scientific and commercial information available which includes analyses of threats and populations. The ESA will publish its proposal in the Federal Register, beginning a 90-day comment period in which the public is invited to submit scientific or technical information that will aid the agency in reaching its final decision.