Sadly, all three species of manatee are listed on the IUCN red list as either vulnerable or endangered. The primary cause of the population decline for manatees is habitat destruction. They also collide with propeller-driven boats, and ingest fishing gear such as hooks, metal weights, and so on. The American manatee population is considered to be stable, but the Amazonian and Caribbean populations are declining.
- Recommended Age: 3
- Size in cm: 15 L x 4.8 W x 5.2 H
- Size in in: 5.91 L x 1.89 W x 2.05 H
Manatees were included in the first endangered species list in 1967 issued by the US government alongside such iconic animals as the timber wolf, bald eagle, and the grizzly bear. Their tendency to rest near the surface often causes them great harm when they are struck by power boats. They are also vulnerable to fishing nets and other human debris. Natural threats are mostly environmental like algae blooms or cold weather snaps. All three species are considered vulnerable to extinction, along with the dugong. All species are protected from hunting or harassment, but their numbers are still declining and are expected to continue to decline.