Polar bear listing empowers environmentalists to seek protection for other species

Fresh off a successful campaign to list polar bears as a threatened species, a conservation group has petitioned to provide the same protection to the bears’ main prey. The Center for Biological Diversity today sought Endangered Species Act protection for ringed seals, plus two other ice-dependent species – spotted and bearded seals. The listing petition says their sea ice habitat is threatened by global warming.The organization also says it will sue to force the federal government to act on a petition to list the Pacific walrus as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The group petitioned for the listing in February.

Jennifer Canfield, KNBA – Anchorage