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The number of manatees in the waters around Florida have reached a new peak of at least 6 250, conservationists say…a record reflecting years of efforts to protect the marine mammals. The count is up slightly from the 6 063 spotted last year, the Florida fish and wildlife conservation commission said in a statement, citing results from surveys conducted by 11 organisations. The US Fish and Wildlife Service last month proposed downgrading the manatee’s status from endangered, a designation given to species on the brink of extinction, to threatened.

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