Subject: Florida manatees need our help
I need your help to stop the federal government from stripping important protections away from Florida’s iconic manatee. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), under pressure from special interests like big developers, is considering reducing manatee protection status from “endangered” to a much lower level of protection under the Endangered Species Act.
Join me, take action, and tell USFWS Director Ashe and Interior Secretary Jewell not to rollback protections for manatees.
Removing manatees from their “endangered” listing is premature as it would reduce manatee protections at a time when the species needs more protection, not less. In the past two years alone, at least 1,200 Florida manatees have died from algal blooms, boat strikes and other fatal causes. Critical manatee habitat is being lost and even the USFWS predicts that populations are likely to decline in parts of Florida. As if that weren’t enough, nearly 900 manatees died mysteriously on the east coast in 2013.
The Endangered Species Act has advanced the recovery of this beloved species and allowed Florida’s majestic manatee to avoid slipping into extinction, but the need to maintain its status as endangered has never been more urgent.
Tell USFWS Director Ashe and Interior Secretary Jewell to ensure manatees maintain their endangered status.
Downlisting the manatee’s status under the Endangered Species Act could have far-reaching consequences for the species. Habitat loss would likely be accelerated by looser restrictions on coastal development or other human impacts that have been prevented due to their current endangered status.
The fact is that manatees still face many of the same threats as when they were originally listed. That’s why we’re joining the Humane Society, Save the Manatee Club and other groups working to preserve the manatee’s endangered status.
The USFWS should prioritize the future of the manatee, not cave to pressure from special interest groups who want to weaken needed protections for manatees – make your voice heard now. Thanks!