Thanks to successful conservation efforts, the leisurely manatee, which glides around the warm waters of Florida and the Caribbean is no longer considered to be endangered, Buzzhubb reported.
After years of consistent decline, the sea cow population has now reached its highest population in a long time. In the 1970s, there were just a few hundred, but now there are 6,620 — downlisting manatees as threatened rather than endangered.
"The decision will not diminish any existing federal protections that will continue to play a vital role in the recovery of the species," the Fish and Wildlife Service said in a statement. "The manatee will also continue to be protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act."
These protections included power companies working together with government conservation efforts to make sure the water stays warm, and cleaning up and recycling fishing gear, which strangle manatees.
As efforts continue, we can all rejoice at the chance of seeing more of these 13 foot-long aquatic herbivores.
The gentle giants can eat a tenth of their own weight in a span of 24 hours — for reference, they can weigh up to 1,300 pounds.
Manatees like to travel in groups of half a dozen or fewer.
They can stay submerged for about 15 minutes unless they are swimming. In that case, it's only about three or four minutes.
This is great news for conservationists and much-needed proof, especially with our government continually pulling back environmental restrictions, that their efforts truly do work.