The Florida manatee has been on the list of endangered species ever since the term and the list came into existence nearly 50 years ago.
But now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may try to re-classify sea cows from “endangered” to the less serious “threatened” species list.
The plan would face public hearings and likely lawsuits, but wildlife officials say the change in classification would not mean the end to laws that protect manatees.
Right now, there are law governing boat speed limits in areas with manatees, dock and dredging permit restrictions, and human access to waters where manatees live with their young in winter months.