Caribou crossing. Photo by Flickr user Phillie Casablanca used under a Creative Commons License
As world leaders convene during the 12 Days of Copenhagen, many animals are already in trouble due to climate change. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has identified 12 species looking for hope from the 12 Days of Copenhagen:
1 — Caribou. With rapid climate change impacting their circumpolar habitat, some types of reindeer, or caribou, have been pushed to the brink of extinction. Of 43 major herds that have been monitored during the past decade, 34 are declining; none so dramatically as the Peary caribou of the High Arctic, whose numbers have declined from some 50,000 in the 1960s to only 7,800 today.
IFAW recently petitioned the U.S. Government to list Peary and Dolphin-Union caribou under the Endangered Species Act. http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw_united_states/media_center/press_releases/9_15_2009_57511.php Read the rest of this entry »
Polar bear. Photo by Flickr user mape_s used under a Creative Commons License
In my Dec. 3 copy of the weekly e-newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity is a commentary on the plight of polar bears in the melting Arctic. Sad. You can see for yourself below. /Gary
ENDANGERED EARTH ONLINE:
Conditions for polar bears in the melting Arctic are worse than imagined.
Since sea ice hit a record low in 2007, scientists studying satellite images had hoped it was recovering. But two weeks ago, a survey revealed that ice shown by satellites to be relatively old and thick is actually thin and fragile — multiyear layers of ice once up to 33 feet thick now can’t even support a single bear, leaving the iconic animal with fewer and fewer places of refuge in the summer. Read the rest of this entry »
Department of Interior also enacts policies to try and prevent ruling from having any impact on greenhouse gas emissions
The information below is excerpted from an e-mail I just received from Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. I couldn’t agree more. The present administration is clearly trying to have it both ways. Forced by law to declare the polar bear as a Threatened species, the Bush administration is also attempting at the same time to enact policies that will prevent the polar bear declaration from having any effect. That’s not how the Endangered Species Act works. They’re not going to get away with it. /Gary Read the rest of this entry »
Bush administration foot-dragging leaves polar bears without protection
Interior Department says it will not meet deadline … Select Committee Hearing to explore Interior’s decision-making process on polar bears, oil drilling …
On Monday (Jan. 7), the Bush administration announced it wouldn’t meet its statutorily required deadline to make a decision on the future of the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act. The Interior Department was required to make a decision on whether the polar bear should be listed as “threatened” under the ESA by Jan. 9, due to the effects of global warming on the bear’s habitat.
Meanwhile, the Interior Department recently announced that it will proceed with a lease sale early next month to open up polar bear habitats off of Alaska to new oil drilling.
“The Bush administration is once again putting the oil cart before the polar bear. On the one hand, the Interior Department is dragging its feet on protecting the polar bear, while opening up new oil and gas drilling in sensitive polar bear habitats on the other,” said Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. “The administration’s own scientists are warning us that two-thirds of all polar bears may be gone by 2050 because of a warming Earth, yet rather than speed up protections for this iconic animal, the Bush administration is speeding up its giveaway of polar bear habitat to Big Oil.”
The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will hold a hearing later this month to:
** Take a look at the future of the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act.
** Take a look at the Interior Department’s plan to open up polar bear habitats in Alaska to new oil drilling.