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

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact
Weather
941 views
Weather
941 views

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact

John McPhaul - December 12, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica
Weather
3307 views
Weather
3307 views

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica

Katherine Stanley - December 12, 2017

High winds claimed the life of a fourth victim in Costa Rica as the cold front that has been moving…

With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalie
Keylor Navas
806 views
Keylor Navas
806 views

With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalie

AFP - December 11, 2017

Real Madrid's first foray into the January transfer market will be to snap up Athletic Bilbao's promising goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga,…