North Florida Ecological Services Office
Southeast Region

Florida Manatee - Issues and Information

Manatee Myth: Florida Manatee - Native to Florida?

Federal Manatee Protection Areas (Refuges & Sanctuaries)

Manatee Recovery Plan

Manatee Rescue, Rehab & Release Program

Out-of-State Manatee Sightings - What to Do and Not Do

Conservation Agencies Encourage Boaters to Self-Report Collisions with Manatees


West Indian Manatee Classification Under Review

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced it is moving forward on a status review for the West Indian manatee following an evaluation of information submitted in support of a 2012 petition to reclassify the species, including its subspecies, the Florida manatee and Antillean manatee, from endangered to threatened.

The announcement, referred to as a 90-day substantial finding, marks the start of a more in depth status review and analysis required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to determine whether reclassification of the West Indian manatee is warranted. The Service also is electing to simultaneously conduct an updated five-year status review also required by the ESA.

The Service is also soliciting additional data or other information fromn researchers, federal and state agencies, and the public regarding the West Indian manatee that for use in conducting their reviews. The 60-day comment period for submitting this information is now open. In order to be consider in the 12-month review, this data and information must be received on or before September 2, 2014. See the Federal Register notice for submission details.

News Release

Federal Register Notice

Finding FAQs

Submit Information, data and comments via the www.regulations.gov docket # FWS-R4-ES-2014-0024.


Manatee Stock Assessment Reports (SAR)

  • 2012 Final Revised SAR for West Indian Manatee Stocks

IMPORTANT NOTE: A Tampa Bay Times article published January 23, 2013 by Craig Pittman contained an error in fact. In the third paragraph the reference to 99 commercial fisheries deaths is incorrect. As stated in the report, there has been a five-year average of 99 human related deaths per year (Table 1, pg 17); none of which were tied to commercial fisheries operations.

Thus, within the context of this fisheries focused report, lethal take of Florida manatees from commercial fisheries activities is obviously well below the calculated Potential Biological Removal (PBR) number of 14.98 (pg 3).

As noted in the Service spokesperon's interview with Mr. Pittman, this report acknowledges there remain other human and natural threats but only focused its conclusions within the fisheries context as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).

  • 2009 Final Revised SAR for West Indian Manatee Stocks

2011 Florida Manatee Project Key Programmatic Assessment

  • Appendix A - Incidental Take Avoidance-minimization measures for new or expanding multi-slip facilities and dredging projects, 2011 - PDF 14KB
  • Appendix B - Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Activities, April 2013 - PDF - 121KB
  • Appendix C - Additional Conditions for Project In-water Activities in Manatee Habitat, 2011 - PDF - 16KB
  • Appendix D - Standard Manatee Conditions for new and existing pipes and culverts, 2011 - PDF - 12KB
  • Appendix E - Dock Construction Guidelines in Florida for docks or other minor structures constructed in or over submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), marsh or mangrove (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/National Marine Fisheries Service, August 2001 - PDF - 12KB
  • Appendix F - Key for construction conditions for docks or other minor structures in or over Johnson's seagrass (Halophila johnsonii) October 2002 - PDF - 13KB

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Last updated: July 21, 2014