After a decade of wrestling over the protected status of the manatee, Florida wildlife managers adopted a new system of assessing extinction risks last year that essentially put them out of the controversial, litigious business of declaring things ``endangered.''
The new approach split the old list in two. One simply adopted the federal endangered species list, which already ranks the manatee, Florida panther, wood stork, crocodile and many of the state's highest profile at-risk denizens. The second state-only list lumped 61 others under a single ``threatened'' category -- a status subject to review under a new suite of biological measures.
Now, some of those first reviews are in. The findings suggest the new approach could produce some of the same old debates. Preliminary reviews, if they stand up, would knock half of 10 mammals off the state's list, most notably the Florida black bear, an animal whose shrinking habitat has increasingly pushed it into potentially dangerous encounters with suburbanites.
Read the full story at miamiherald.com.