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Manatees Are No Longer Endangered Because Good Things Can Still Happen In 2017

The West Indian manatee population has rebounded from just a few hundred to more than 6,000 in the wild, federal officials announced.

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But on Thursday — one day after Manatee Appreciation Day — the US Fish and Wildlife Service downgraded the sea cows from "endangered" to "threatened" status, citing a population rebound to more than 6,000.

US officials said the rebound comes after a range of conservation efforts in places like Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean, which led to better protections and habitat improvements for manatees.

“While there is still more work to be done to fully recover manatee populations, particularly in the Caribbean, manatee numbers are increasing and we are actively working with partners to address threats,” Jim Kurth, acting director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, said in a statement.

Jason Wells is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Jason Wells at jason.wells@buzzfeed.com.

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