On December 10, the “Today Show” featured an interesting segment about the manatees at Three Sisters Springs in Florida. As this blog reported on July 29, The Conservation Fund, the National Wildlife Refuge Association, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service completed a major conservation agreement earlier this year that resulted in the protection of almost 58 acres of critical habitat – known as Three Sisters Springs – for the endangered West Indian (Florida) manatee. This land is managed as part of Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.
Responding to concerns that manatees were experiencing increased stress from human harassment, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service issued new rules in November, 2010 to guide the responsible interaction between humans and manatees and reserved the right to close down the Springs to swimmers should the need arise to ensure manatee protection.
The “Today Show” segment discussed this new rule and the importance of allowing the government to put the survival of the manatee ahead of the desire of visitors to swim with them. Visit the National Wildlife Refuge Association website to see the “Today Show” clip about the manatees.