MIAMI (AP) -- Federal wildlife officials are moving forward with a status review of the manatee following a petition from a libertarian legal group representing some north Florida business owners.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday it will begin a more detailed review and analysis. It's a step in changing the status of the West Indian manatee -- including its subspecies, the Florida and Antillean manatees -- from endangered to threatened.
In 2012, the Pacific Legal Foundation, on behalf of Save Crystal River Inc., submitted a petition requesting the reclassification.
Patrick Rose, executive director of the Save the Manatee Club, said his group welcomes the review, if for no other reason than to show manatees are appropriately listed as endangered.
FWS is soliciting comment from interested parties.