Trump administration sued over Pacific walrus

Pacific walrus. (Photo courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association)

The Center for Biological Diversity is suing the Trump Administration for not granting an Endangered Species Act listing for the Pacific walrus. The environmental advocacy group filed the lawsuit on Thursday, March 8, 2018, in U.S. District Court.

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In October 2017, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service decided the Pacific walrus didn’t warrant additional federal protections. The agency said the population appeared “stable” and had “demonstrated an ability to adapt to changing conditions.”

But some conservation groups say the decision was politically motivated and not based on the best available science.

In 2008, polar bears were granted an Endangered Species Act listing under President George W. Bush. But the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service says the two animals aren’t the same.

Polar bears face a host of challenges with declining sea ice — more than what’s been observed of walrus.