The manatee’s status as an endangered animal may be downgraded as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service reviews it and could make the manatee just a “threatened” species.
Classifying the manatee as a “threatened” species would allow some flexibility for federal officials as the species recovers while maintaining most of the protections afforded to animals listed as endangered, The Associated Press reports.
As part of the lengthy review process, the agency is seeking public comment on its finding that a petition to reclassify the manatee has merits. The deadline is Tuesday. A decision on whether a change is warranted won’t be made until the agency completes its review, which could take a year.