Manatees off endangered species list - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Manatees off endangered species list

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(CNN) -

Manatees are now off of the endangered species list. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services are upgrading the status of the West Indian Manatee from "endangered" to "threatened." 

That means manatees are no longer in danger of extinction, but their numbers are still small enough they should be protected. 

There were only a few hundred Florida manatees in the 1970s.  Now it's estimated there are around 6,600. 

Some environmentalists are against the new classification, arguing that it wasn't scientifically justified and that manatees are still in danger. 

Fish and wildlife officials say boat collisions are one of the main problems affecting manatees, along with climate change and algae blooms in Florida waters. 

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