I heard it on TV as well, they are voting in
I found this on the Florida Sportsman's webiste, plus the wife heard something on TV about it last night.
State to decide status of manatees
Species may no longer be labeled endangered
By Kevin Lollar
Originally posted on December 03, 2007
For such a docile creature, the Florida manatee sure can keep a controversy boiling.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will vote Wednesday whether to reclassify the manatee from endangered to threatened on the state’s list of imperiled species.
State scientists and recreational fishermen say reclassification is scientifically justified; the leading manatee-advocacy organization says the science demands that manatees remain endangered.
Lee County is one of the deadliest in the state for manatees. Last year, it ranked second with 82 deaths.
At the center of the Save the Manatee Club’s argument is that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources recently declared manatees endangered in its Red List of Threatened Species.
“The IUCN uses the same science that the state adopted, and determined that the manatee meets the criteria for being endangered,” manatee club Executive Director Pat Rose said. “We’ve been saying it all along, but this turns it from supposition to fact.
“If you use the same science and same criteria, you’ll come out with endangered. Had the state done that, there’s no question the manatee would remain endangered.”
According to state scientists, the confusion is in the terminology, rather than the science.
Under the union’s list, the most imperiled species are in the Critically Endangered category because they are “facing an extremely high risk of extinction.”
Florida’s highest category is Endangered, for species or subspecies “in imminent danger of extinction or extirpation from Florida.”
The union’s second category is Endangered, for species “facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild,” while the state’s second category is Threatened, for species or subspecies “facing a very high risk of extinction or extirpation from Florida.”
A step down is the union’s Vulnerable category (species “facing a high risk of extinction in the wild”) and the state’s Species of Special Concern (species or subspecies “facing a moderate risk of extinction or extirpation from Florida”).
“We used the same criteria, the same science,” said Kipp Frohlich, head of the state’s Imperiled Species Management Section. “It’s all the same rules, the same cutoff points. It’s one big, huge set of data, and we reached the same conclusion on where the manatee falls.
“If you think of IUCN as three categories, IUCN says it fits the middle category, called Endangered. FWC did the work and said it meets the middle category, which is Threatened.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has also recommended that the manatee be reclassified as threatened.
“The state’s data very much mirrored our data,” wildlife service spokesman Chuck Underwood said. “Based on the current science, the manatee no longer meets the criteria of endangered. The international group rated it in their system as endangered, but their endangered mirrors what the state and federal government call threatened.”
In August 2001, the Coastal Conservation Association, an advocacy group for recreational saltwater fishermen, asked FWC to evaluate the manatee’s status.
“The reason we filed the petition was to let people understand that these animals are not declining to the brink of extinction,” CCA Executive Director Ted Forsgren said. “The Save the Manatee Club manufactured data saying manatees were declining to extinction, and we knew it wasn’t true. We spend countless hours on the water, and we knew for a fact there were more manatees than 20 years ago.”
The wildlife commission was scheduled to vote on the manatee’s status in September, but Gov. Charlie Crist asked that the vote be postponed so new commissioners would have time to become familiar with the issue.
A major concern for the manatee club is that manatees won’t receive the same protection if they’re listed as threatened.
“The legislation has been undermining environmental protection in Florida for years,” Rose said. “The one area where they had a hard time is when it affects endangered species. If you make people believe manatees are no longer endangered, it gives them more cover to weaken laws further.”
As a threatened species, the manatee would receive the same protection under state law as an endangered species, Frohlich said. Manatees are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and are, for now, endangered on the federal Endangered Species List.
“When people think of protection, they think rules and regulations,” Frohlich said. “In the case of manatees, they might think speed zones and harassment rules. None of those things will change whatsoever whether the manatee appears in the endangered column or the threatened column.”
Rose said the move to have manatees reclassified has been “politically driven” by boating and development interests.
“I’m not doing politics,” Frohlich said. “This is driven by the fact that we got a petition years ago from the Coastal Conservation Association. We went through the process; individual groups reviewed it. We found the manatee is in the middle category. I don’t see anything political about that.”
SOS, the $MC is worried about their jobs going away, if the MANATEE is no longer on the "Brink of EXTINCTION"!!!
Everything is for sale @ a certain $$
I heard it on TV as well, they are voting in
Peace & grace be to this place.
........ God bless the troops, always! :)
I used to live on the East coast (Satellite Beach). I'll never forget a time, probably 10+ years ago now, when it got really cold and all the manatees in the area migrated to the power plant in Titusville. More manatees showed up in that area than they said existed in the whole state.
Ya, I love it...protected warm water discharges....talk about man-made intrusions to their natural habits.
I hope the vote goes well, if we follow the international guidelines as written, then indeed they should be considered threatened, not endangered. Time to downlist for sure.
Check out this utter garbage by none other than Pat Rose (executive Director of the SMC) printed in yesterday's St. Pete Times (a P.O.S. liberal, tree-hugging rag).
Manatee reclassification is nonsense
By PATRICK ROSE
Published December 4, 2007
On Sept. 12 the World Conservation Union officially declared the Florida manatee endangered, using exactly the same criteria Florida officials are attempting to use to justify downgrading the manatee's status from endangered to threatened.
After a scientific status review at the international level, the Florida manatee was declared endangered on the Red List, which is recognized as the most reliable evaluation of the world's species.
The manatee's status evaluation was conducted and also reviewed by some of the world's most qualified sirenian scientists, who based their recommendation for listing as endangered on the most recent scientific data.
Incongruously, Sept. 12 was the day the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was scheduled to vote on whether to reclassify the manatee to a lesser state: imperiled status.
This is a vote that marine industry representatives and go-fast boating interests have supported for many years.
But just two days before this monumental vote, Gov. Charlie Crist came to the rescue and asked the Fish and Wildlife Commission for a reprieve for manatees, wisely urging them to postpone the vote, while also questioning the method used to estimate the size of the manatee population.
Ultimately, the commission listened to the governor and unanimously voted to postpone the manatee's reclassification, but under pressure from boating and development interests will revisit this issue at its meeting Wednesday in Key Largo.
How could the FWC, claiming to be using the World Conservation Union's widely supported listing/delisting criteria, conclude that manatees are no longer endangered and move to downlist them?
The answer is simple. While the FWC adopted the union's criteria for endangered species, it opted to call species that met those criteria "threatened" instead of "endangered." Ironically, the FWC openly declares that manatees, with less than 2,500 adults, face a "very high risk of extinction," but want to wait until a species' risk of extinction is "imminent" before declaring it endangered. That's a sure recipe for future extinctions.
The FWC continues to nonsensically argue that protections won't change if manatees are downlisted. In light of the hundreds of manatees killed since the unjustifiable reclassification process began, this argument seems disingenuous, at best. Already, numerous law enforcement positions are proposed to be cut because of state budget shortfalls.
Furthermore, it is widely recognized that the natural springs and power plant discharges that most manatees depend on to survive the coldest winter days are likely to be lost in the not-too-distant future.
With mortality continuing at a brisk pace this year, with threats from both human and natural causes escalating, and with the manatee's international biological status confirmed as endangered, it is time for the FWC to kill the unwarranted downlisting effort.
Looking beyond manatees to Florida's other imperiled species, it is time for the FWC to fix its imperiled species classification system by adopting one where all of Florida's most-at-risk species can be fairly reviewed, classified properly and managed accordingly to sustain and recover their numbers in the wild.
Please join me and the more than 20-million Americans who have already made known their objections to this politically driven subversion of imperiled species protections in Florida.
Patrick Rose is an aquatic biologist and one of the world's leading experts on the Florida manatee. He also is executive director of Save the Manatee Club.
Dean, Patrick Rose receives $64,740/yr salary.
Check out this link, Dean. The SMC has been given a warning on June 2007, for failing to meet the requirements of a charitable organization.
Sirenian Scientists? What's that? The study of Mermaids?
Yes it's the "Go Fast" boaters that pose the risks.
BTW in the past year I've seen more manatees than ever.
Same here, there were 2 in the canal last night, and the momma cow was HUGE, and neither had no prop scars! Please don't mistake my hatred of the $MC, for dislike of the animal, we like manatees, although, I would really hate to hit one. It's got to be like hitting a partially submerged telephone pole!
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