Target: Dan Ashe, Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Do not take manatees off of the endangered species list until we know it is completely safe to do so.
Because the manatee count is now higher than it has been in the past, conservation critics are trying to get the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to change the status of the manatee from endangered to threatened. However, doing so may have an adverse effect on manatee populations later.
A recent manatee count showed that there are currently 6,063 manatees. This is great news, because counts showed that there were 1,000 less manatees in 2010. However, while many people are excited about the current manatee count, it should be considered that the animals are counted by using aerial survey methods, which means estimated numbers are never guaranteed to be accurate.
Although results conclude that manatee populations are increasing, we need to be able to say this is unequivocally the case before removing them from the endangered species list. Despite such views, boaters and fishermen believe conservation laws set in place to protect manatees are too strict. In fact, they want manatees to be removed from the endangered species list right now. On the contrary, if boaters are once again allowed to drive at faster speeds, or if fishing restrictions are lifted from certain areas, more manatees will be run over by boats or drown as a result of becoming too entangled in fishing lines.
Sign this petition and demand that manatees remain on the endangered species list until we have more accurate information that says it is safe to otherwise change their conservation status. We have worked hard to improve their numbers. It would be a shame to take such a huge step backwards just because fishermen and boaters can’t live without a few necessary restrictions.
Dear Director Ashe,
Manatee numbers have recently been recorded at a record high. Since this is the case, critics of manatee conservation laws would like to see the manatees’ status moved down to threatened from endangered.
While it is exciting that the number of manatees have significantly increased within the last few years, it is important to recognize that counting manatees from an airplane does not guarantee these numbers are always correct. Even though counts show there are more manatees swimming in the water, manatees should not be removed off of the endangered species list unless or until we are one hundred percent sure that there numbers have dramatically increased.
It is important strict conservation laws stay in place to help ensure that manatee populations remain on the rise. If manatees are removed from the endangered species list, laws may become more lenient, and—in turn—manatee populations may once again decrease at fast rates. For all of these reasons I urge you to keep manatees on the endangered species list until we are absolutely certain it is safe to take them off of it. Improving their numbers has been a difficult and lengthy process. If we take a step backwards now, that one step may turn into several steps back later.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mwanner via Wikimedia Commons