Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

Current status is Federally Endangered

The FWC received a petition to re-evaluate the status of the Florida manatee in 2001.  A biological assessment following the listing process rules was initiated.  However, a listing moratorium was initiated in 2003 and the listing process rules were changed in April 2005.  Following the new process, a biological status report was completed, reviewed by independent peer reviewers, and presented to the Commission at the June 2006 Commission meeting.  The Commission agreed that reclassification of the Florida manatee from Endangered to Threatened is warranted; however the reclassification will not occur until a management plan for the species is approved. Public comment was sought and incorporated on a draft and again on a revised draft management plan.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has finalized the manatee management plan based on input received. The final plan was scheduled to be presented for approval at the September Commission meeting, however Governor Charlie Crist asked the Commission to defer the decision.  Staff from FWC will work with the Governor's office to address the Governor's concerns and then bring the plan for approval at a future Commission meeting.

In 2010, the Commission approved new rules for listing imperiled species and the manatee was listed as Federally Endangered in Florida.

Please view our Listing Process for more information on the listing process moratorium and changes.  Below is a link to the petition that was received in 2001 and the Biological Status Report, the final manatee management plan, the powerpoint presentation for the Commission meeting about the management plan, and the letter from Governor Crist.



FWC Facts:
Freshwater fish have a series of sensory pores called the lateral line that detect movement and vibration in the water, which helps with predatory and schooling behavior.

Learn More at AskFWC