I've got another series of manatee pics I'll be posting in the showcase but first I wanted to make everyone aware of the two headlines we were greeted with yesterday:
On the front pages of both our main newspapers were the headlines saying the Florida Manatee was just recommended to be "downlisted" from "endangered" status to "threatened" status. This is not because of any great recovery on the part of the manatee, it is due to a "rewording" of the [criteria for listing species] on the endangered species act [state level]. I'll post all the details tomorrow (got to get the pics ready).
I had the good luck to photograph manatee behavior last Thursday that I hadn't witnessed before, and a couple of the pics are quite intimate (be forewarned!!), but really show that the manatee is at least as sensitive as we are, tactile and otherwise, and we just can't continue to go on "accidentally" killing, injuring and scaring these docile creatures.
This "downlisting" is very frustrating for those of us who have worked towards MORE slow-speed boating areas (near where manatee live and travel), the last thing we need now is LESS protection for the manatee, and I think everyone should come swim with the manatee at Crystal River, an amazing and profound experience, but then also have to count and figure out the percentage of beautiful creatures horribly scared by the propellars of boats, it is about 66% of adult manatee that show bad propellar and collision scars.
The "downlisting" determination will be up for review in April? or June? sometime.
So I'll work at getting full pics and details posted tomorrow.
Florida Manatee Endangered Status in Jeopardy
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