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Citing a rebounding population, federal wildlife officials have proposed that Florida manatees be taken off the "endangered" list and reclassified as a "threatened" species.

The re-listing proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wouldn't change any current protections that manatees currently enjoy.

"Based on the best available scientific information, we believe the manatee is no longer in danger of extinction," said Michael Oetker, Deputy Regional Director for the Wildlife Service's Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta.


Because of significant improvements in population and habitat conditions, and reductions in direct threats, we're...

Posted by USFWS Southeast Region on Thursday, January 7, 2016

After the USFWS publishes its proposed rule to reclassify the species, the public will have 90 days to weigh in on the change.

The slow-moving "sea cow" has been on the country's endangered list since it was created in 1967 under the Endangered Species Preservation Act.

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