Manatees Lose; Boating Activists and Developers Win

Last year's death count for manatees was one of the highest on record, and while Florida state wildlife commissioners admit the species may suffer a 50 percent decline over the next 45 years, they say 80 percent must be at risk of being lost to warrant "endangered" status. As a result, the biased commissioners unanimously voted to remove the manatee from the state's endangered list in June, bumping the imperiled species down to "threatened" status. In a further blow to manatees, officials have also said they will not prosecute those who report accidentally hitting one of the slow-moving mammals.

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