Thursday, January 25, 2007

Weekly News Archive 17-23 January 2007

New report lowers manatee death toll (23 January 2007)
Volusia County officials are breathing a sigh of relief this week after learning the state has officially adjusted the number of manatees killed by boats in the county last year. After re-analyzing the manatee death information for 2006, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has said only two manatees were confirmed killed by collisions with boats. That's six less than a preliminary report had suggested. That's also good news because it means the number of boat-related deaths dropped by six from 2005, said Georgia Zern, the county's manatee plan coordinator.

FWC Chairman vows full manatee recovery (20 January 2007)
The manatee death rate in Florida will continue to rise "over my dead body," a top fish and wildlife official said Friday. Rodney Barreto, chairman of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, felt misleading information about manatee deaths appeared in media reports across the state one too many times. So on Friday, he sent a feisty editorial letter to all 200 newspapers and 400 radio and TV stations in Florida to defend the FWC's position. "We are setting the record straight," Barreto said. "This agency is doing nothing less than what it's going to take to protect the manatee. It's kind of unfair that we are getting caught in the debate that's not always centered around the facts." READ THE FULL STORY AT THE LINK ABOVE.

Sirenians on the Edge of Existence (17 January 2007)
Dugongs and Amazonian manatees are listed among the Top 100 Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered Mammals on Earth, according to The EDGE of Existence programme, a project to help save the worlds most extraordinary and threatened species. EDGE, Led by the Zoological Society of London, aims to focus attention on conserving the most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species. The animals included are genetically unique and have very few relatives in the wild. If they disappear, there will be nothing like them left on the planet. They are also threatened by alarming rates of global extinction which some scientists believe rival the mass extinction that killed off the dinosaurs 65 millions years ago. EDGE aims to conserve the world's most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species by implementing the research and conservation actions needed to secure their future.

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