viernes, junio 09, 2006

Why the Hurry?

It is disheartening to see how under George W. Bush the USA moves so quickly to remove animals at risk from the endangered species list.

This time, the guns are aiming at the manatees because for God's sake, them fishermen have the right to use their speed boats in any river, lake, lagoon and creek that they pick. Because they are US citizens and they have the freedom to do whatever they want, and if those manatees don't like it, well, they can go back to wherever it is that they came from.

Here you have a note about how the manatees are now exposed to danger:

Manatees off Fla. endangered species list

By BRIAN SKOLOFF, Associated Press Writer

Fri Jun 9, 6:21 AM ET

The state wildlife commission has voted to take the manatee off Florida's endangered species list, saying the animal's population is on the rebound.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to designate the manatee as a threatened species rather than endangered.

The commission also voted unanimously to remove the bald eagle from the list of threatened species.

The decisions will not take effect until management plans are approved, officials said.

The state's classification system consists of three categories: endangered, threatened and special concern. They are based on a species' population, how fast it is declining and when extinction is projected, among other factors.

Florida officials said the decisions would not affect how the species are protected, but some environmentalists said the reclassifications could set in motion a downward spiral of state funding and protections.

"As species like the manatee are reclassified to a less imperiled status before their populations have actually recovered, state funding for research, management and law enforcement will likely be directed elsewhere," said attorney Martha Collins.

Collins represents 17 environmental groups who last week filed a petition with the state seeking to have the entire protection classification system revamped.

Scientists have said the manatee population is expected to drop 50 percent over the next five decades because of habitat loss, boat collisions and red tide algae. Still, they said the species is not endangered — a classification that denotes species on the brink of extinction.

An annual survey released in February found 3,116 manatees in Florida waters, up from 1,267 in 1991, the first year the census was conducted. But state scientists said the increase shown in the survey is partly a result of better techniques for finding the animals.

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