Lawmakers give nod to Costa Rica’s manatee with proposal to name it a national marine mammal

July 15, 2014
1 Comments

Though there aren’t many left in Costa Rica’s rivers, the manatee is about to become a little more famous after a bill declaring it the national marine mammal passed a first round of legislative debate on Monday.

Manatees, also known as sea cows, are large herbivorous mammals that live in rivers and oceans. Of the three species of manatees, one is native to Costa Rica – the West Indian manatee, also known as the Florida manatee.

It took three years for the legislation to make it this far, after two school children from Limón proposed the declaration in 2011 after learning about manatees in school. Along with making the sea cow a national symbol, the bill, if passed, would also allocate funds for manatee education and conservation.

The bill goes to a second round of debate on July 22. President Luis Guillermo Solís would then sign it into law.

Tortuguero, in Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean, remains the only region of the country with a confirmed manatee population, and even there, scientists believe there are fewer than 20 living in the area’s canals.

You may be interested

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby
sports
147 views
sports
147 views

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018

A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network
Human rights
178 views
Human rights
178 views

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network

Elizabeth Lang - May 22, 2018

As Costa Rica continues to grapple with the disagreements about marriage equality and gender identity that dominated the second round…

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week
The Alvarado Administration
206 views
The Alvarado Administration
206 views

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week

The Tico Times - May 21, 2018

Newly inaugurated Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado is closing in on two weeks on the job. Here are some of…