West Indian Manatees No Longer Considered an Endangered Species

On one of the coldest Florida winter days in history, a young male Florida manatee calf floats and enjoys the warmth over a blue freshwater spring outflow. (Carol Grant—Getty Images)

The West Indian manatee is no longer considered endangered thanks to population growth and improvement in conditions of the species’ habitat, federal authorities said Thursday.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) said that despite the progress the species remains “threatened” and federal safeguards that protect its habitat remain in place. “We both recognize the significant progress we have made in conserving manatee populations while reaffirming our commitment to continuing this species’ recovery and success throughout its range,” said Jim Kurth, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s acting director, in a statement.

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SOURCE: TIME, Justin Worland