1. Reclassify the manatee?

    jake on 2007.04.09
    at 04:18 pm

    Is it just because I watched Planet Earth (you should see it) last night or is there an issue to be taken with the possibility of reclassifying manatees as “threatened?” I’m going to go with my gut on this one and declare it the latter.

    An annual census of the manatee population recorded 2,812 [emphasis added] of the animals in Florida waters this year…

    In 1991 — the survey’s first year — 1,267 manatees were found in the state. This past year, scientists counted 3,116 [emphasis added].

    Getting beyond the obvious issue of the number dropping this past year I looked around for the numbers recorded by year. Along with some more facts I also noticed an expired petition attempting to stop this very event.

    The other information I discovered is how the manatees are currently counted.

    A synoptic survey is a statewide aerial survey designed to get a head count of individual manatees.

    Scientists have been working for a while to find a better method for tracking the manatee population. It is fairly obvious by the annual numbers that there is a large fluctuation every time the scientists go out and try to count by flying overhead. Downgrading manatees should not even be considered until a more accurate method is put in place.

    Posted in: Environment · Science


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