Florida Manatees’ Recovery Plan
With considerable changes in climate and landscape, a significant rise in the number of endangered species can be identified. The Endangered Species Act published in 1973 defines them as any creature that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range” (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2001, p. 1). The document also establishes policies and processes for registering and protecting species threatened with extinction (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2001). For instance, the West Indian Manatee, which is also known as Trichechus Manatus, is included in the act as an endangered species that needs professional protection and care. For this reason, specific recovery plans have been developed to highlight various management activities that can be undertaken to preserve the manatee population in different areas. Since, throughout the years, researchers were able to discover the distinguishing features of manatees and their biology and preservation characteristics, the recovery plan was advanced to address contemporary needs and dangers (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2001). Therefore, the following review will discuss the actions for the recovery of Florida manatees’ population, analyze certain recovery efforts, and provide recommendations for future practices.
Proposed Actions for Recovery
The first recovery action proposed by the plan is minimizing the causes of manatee injury, mortality, disturbance, and harassment. One of the most severe problems identified by experts is that Florida manatees are killed due to interactions with stormwater pipes, boats, and water control structures (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2001). In some cases, manatees get murdered by vandals and animal hunters (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2001). Thus, certain actions, such as promoting specific regulations that forbid harmful practices, enforcing manatee protection laws, and rescuing and rehabilitating injured species, should be undertaken (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2001). Successful implementation of these activities will help to protect the animals and decrease the number of deaths.
Another useful practice proposed in the Florida manatee recovery plan is continually monitoring the status of these animals. It is evident that the success of efforts to preserve manatees and minimize various negative influences depends on the appropriateness of data collection regarding these species’ life history and status (U.S. Florida and Wildlife Service, 2001). Additional information about manatees is needed to identify the existing problems and threats, create alternative preservation practices, and evaluate the results (U.S. Florida and Wildlife Service, 2001). Therefore, while collecting detailed information about the history, distribution structure, and reproduction of these animals, professionals will make a contribution to the preservation of endangered species.
In addition, the plan requires identifying, protecting, and evaluating manatee habitats. The growth and recovery of the manatee population largely depend on the availability of comfortable living conditions (U.S. Florida and Wildlife Service, 2001). Appropriate manatee habitats are secluded areas that have access to fresh food and water and give a possibility to the animals to rest and travel safely (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2001). Consequently, much effort should be put into protecting and monitoring existing manatee habitats and ensuring the implementation of actions to adapt to various environmental changes.
The Florida manatee recovery plan also proposes to enhance rehabilitation by spreading awareness about the problem. It will be impossible to preserve these animals’ populations with general public support and contribution; therefore, people have to be educated about the issue (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2001). Professionals need to provide clear, consistent, and available information to target various societal groups and encourage them to support manatee preservation practices (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2001). Thus, the population will be educated, and manatees will be more likely to exist.
Analysis of Recovery Efforts
It should be stated that it is possible to successfully apply the plan and promote the growth of the manatee population. This opinion is based on the fact that the rehabilitation program is thoroughly developed and supported by scientific research. Every objective is described in detail and includes all the necessary elements and possible alternatives, making it easier to implement. In addition, the recovery plan has a scientific value since it is the primary source for future investigations. With the help of this project, professionals have a chance to determine the status of manatees in the contemporary environment and discover any complications that may arise. Furthermore, different programs support the recovery plan activities and preserve the animals. The Cincinnati Zoo is one of the many places in the U.S. that participates in manatee rehabilitation and rescue (“Florida manatee,” n.d.). Moreover, the Cincinnati Zoo educates people about these animals and encourages them to gain more knowledge about the problem of extinction (“Florida manatee,” n.d.). Hence, individuals become aware of the issue and spread this information through word-of-mouth communication.
After reading and analyzing the Florida manatee recovery plan, it can be indicated that it is feasible and adequately developed. The experts created objectives and actions of the program while taking into consideration different phenomena that influence the status of these animals. However, to implement this strategy successfully, professionals and the general public should work collaboratively to achieve the common goal – save manatees. As mentioned in the previous section, one of the current issues is that the data about manatees is not collected effectively enough, which prevents professionals from identifying needs and threats for the animals. Therefore, more effort and funds should be invested in appropriate collective information. Furthermore, zoos have to continue to be engaged in the recovery plan and educate the general public about manatees. Overall, this review discussed manatee recovery actions proposed in the document, evaluated specific recovery efforts, and provided suggestions for future rehabilitation project implementation.
Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). (n.d.). 2020, Web.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (2001). Florida manatee recovery plan (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Web.