Thursday, June 01, 2006

Fla. manatees might be endangered no more

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., May 31 (UPI) -- Florida's Fish and Wildlife Commission is expected to remove manatees from its endangered species list next week.

The action has been urged for several years by boating enthusiasts who don't like restrictions on their hobby. But the commission's executive director, Ken Haddad, told the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times that action will not eliminate boating speed zones, since speeding boats accounted for a quarter of all manatee deaths annually.

Approximately 3,000 manatees swim in Florida's waterways.

Haddad and his staff are meeting with newspaper editorial writers across Florida ahead of an expected controversy over reclassifying the manatee.

Manatees were placed on the earliest endangered species list in 1967. Federal officials are also reassessing the manatee's endangered status.

Boat hulls and keels crack manatees' skulls and ribs, the Times said, while waterfront homes and marinas have eliminated many areas where the animal once found refuge.

This is total bullshit, just another instance of government caving to lobbyists. I highly doubt the public supports removing manatees from the list.

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