Vern Buchanan Wants FWS to Keep Manatee as 'Endangered'
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla. wrote the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on Monday, calling for it to keep manatees under the protection of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
FWS classified manatees as "endangered" under the FSA back in 1966 but earlier this year announced it would be changed to "threatened."
Buchanan insisted FWS was overestimating the number of manatees.
“I’m concerned that weakening protections will lead to a decline in the manatee population,” Buchanan said. “Manatees are iconic residents of Florida. We should be doing all we can to ensure the survival of these gentle giants.
“The manatee population has started to rebound because of the protections put in place by the Endangered Species Act,” Buchanan said. “But based on the data provided, it’s clear that we can’t assume that manatees are safe - so I’m urging caution.”
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