Two Florida representatives file bill to put manatees on ‘endangered’ list
Tallahassee, Florida — Monday two congressmen said they have introduced legislation that would designate the sea cows as an “endangered” species.
Offering more protection, the proposal by U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., would upgrade the status of manatees under the Endangered Species Act from “threatened.”
“Manatees are beloved, iconic mammals in Florida,” Buchanan said in a prepared statement. “This year’s record-breaking number of manatee deaths is staggering and extremely concerning, which is why upgrading their ESA (Endangered Species Act) status is absolutely critical. We must do everything we can to protect these gentle giants and Florida’s official marine mammal.”
According to Citing Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission statistics, a news release about the legislation said 890 manatees died during the first seven months of 2021, breaking the annual record of 830 manatee deaths in 2013.
The animals were reclassified in 2017 as no longer being endangered.