Local conservationists are celebrating yet another apparent confirmed sighting of manatees in Costa Rica’s Caribbean canal of Tortuguero, not far from the village of the same name.
The West Indian manatee, or Sea Cow as some call them, was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in the 1970s, when there were only several hundred left and was thought to be extinct in Costa Rica decades ago due poaching and collisions with propellers on fast moving boats.
Recently, there have been reports of the gentle giants by local tour guides and fishermen. This video posted by INA (The National University) on YouTube appears to confirm that there are in fact manatees once again on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast. What do you think?
If marine scientists can confirm that there actually is a permanent population of manatees in Tortuguero it would be great news for naturalists as well as tour operators and local residents that make their living from tourism.
In places like Florida there are speed limits for boats in areas where manatees are known to exist in order to help prevent unnecessary manatee deaths.
While it is too early to make predictions on what the Costa Rica government may do to protect any manatees found here, the country’s track record on conservation issues would suggest that it may also adopt similar measures.