West Indian Manatees in Florida
I did a piece on the Manatee
way back in 92, hoping that the creatures would be safe by now,
however, things have got worse and the poor Manatee is in dire
straits. Although it is protected under the federal Endangered
Species Act of 1973, the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972
and the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978 the Manatee are
still being maimed or killed in Florida. In 2001 325 were killed
the highest since 1996 when 400 were killed, this year so far
258 have been killed, a third of those proven to be from boats.
The highest mortality is due to watercraft that hit the creature
and crush or slash the animal with the propellers. Manatee need
to surface often while they swim which is why they are so vulnerable
to getting hit by the boats.
Another big reason they
die is because their habitat is less now that it was previously.
Pollution, humans, harassment, boat traffic, etc. have made
the areas that the Manatee swim a dangerous environment. For
more facts please click HERE.
Recently I adopted a Manatee
called 'Rosie' from the 'Save
the Manatee Club'. You get to chose the Manatee you
wish to sponsor and they send you information about what you
can do to help as well as a photo of your Manatee and booklets
and brochures about the danger these creatures are in. Please
contact them if you wish an unusual Christmas or birthday gift
for a loved one or even yourself.
animated graphic ©Save the Manatee Club
are a vital part of our environment. They not
only yield a range of essential material products,
from timber to medicines, but also provide mental
and spiritual comfort to people all around the
world. - ©World Wildlife Federation
Endangered species do not
just mean animals but plants as well, many of the plants being
used today for medicines are becoming endangered because of
the recent popularity of herbs that can affect the plants in
the wild by over harvesting and also because the rainforests
where many of them grow are still being destroyed. Some plants
of course are commercially farmed and harvested and these are
thriving but those growing wild are in danger.
New plant-derived medicines
are most likely to be found in rainforests, as these areas are
richest in plant diversity. About 26 hectares (37 football pitches)
of rainforest have been lost in the past minute and every minute,
due to threats such as illegal logging, land clearance for agriculture
and forest fire, meaning of course that every minute plants
are lost that could save lives. The movie 'Medicine Man'
with Sean Connery gives a pretty good overview of the situation,
see if you can find a copy and watch it, it really makes you
The WWF have a program
that encourages the public in conserving the plant life in their
area of the world. Click HERE
for details. Do take a look.