Polar bear may be listed as 'endangered'

December 27, 2006

The Bush administration is calling for polar bears to be listed as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

A U.S. Interior Department source, who did not want to be identified, told The Washington Post that the government would soon make the request public in the Federal Register, opening the door to hearings.

The filing will just meet a 2-year deadline in response to lawsuits from three environmental groups that claimed the government was dragging its feet on the animals' status, the Post said.

The filing acknowledges global warming is responsible for rapid loss of Arctic sea ice, which the bears use as a living and feeding platform. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials have warned polar bears could be endangered within 45 years as the Arctic ice recedes.

Scientists say there are 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears in 19 separate populations worldwide, about 4,700 of which live in Alaska. Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and Norway have the balance.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Federal report: Polar bears in peril due to global warming (Update)

Related Stories

Official: Suspension unrelated to polar bear paper

July 30, 2011

(AP) -- The recent suspension of Alaska wildlife biologist Charles Monnett is unrelated both to an article that he wrote about presumably drowned Arctic polar bears and to his scientific work, a federal official said Friday.

Arctic scientist under investigation

July 28, 2011

(AP) -- A federal wildlife biologist whose observation in 2004 of presumably drowned polar bears in the Arctic helped to galvanize the global warming movement has been placed on administrative leave and is being investigated ...

Recommended for you

Asteroid impact, volcanism were one-two punch for dinosaurs

October 1, 2015

Berkeley geologists have uncovered compelling evidence that an asteroid impact on Earth 66 million years ago accelerated the eruptions of volcanoes in India for hundreds of thousands of years, and that together these planet-wide ...

History shows more big wildfires likely as climate warms

October 5, 2015

The history of wildfires over the past 2,000 years in a northern Colorado mountain range indicates that large fires will continue to increase as a result of a warming climate, according to new study led by a University of ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.