White House considers listing polar bears

Feb 04, 2008

The U.S. Interior Department is considering whether to list the polar bear as an endangered species, it was reported Sunday.

Concerns that the bears' Arctic habitat is thawing because of global warming are prompting calls for the species to be extended federal protections, The Los Angeles Times reported.

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others," said Kassie Siegel, an attorney with the non-profit Center for Biological Diversity. "And then there is the polar bear."

If the planet continues warming, two-thirds of the polar bear population could be gone by 2050, the newspaper reported.

If listed, the polar bear would be the first animal granted protections as a consequence of global warming. The federal government would then be required to protect the bears in Alaska, the only place in the United States the species lives.

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., asked U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall last week whether listing the polar bear could be used to halt the construction of a new power plant in Oklahoma City, The Times reported.

"The Endangered Species Act is not the vehicle to reach out and demand all of the things that need to happen to address climate change," Hall responded.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Roaring success: lions return to Rwanda, with rhinos next?

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Shark's unique trek could help save the species

11 hours ago

Her name is Jiffy Lube2, a relatively small shortfin mako shark that, like others of her kind, swims long distances every day in search of prey and comfortable water temperatures.

Researchers discover new mechanism of DNA repair

Jul 03, 2015

The DNA molecule is chemically unstable giving rise to DNA lesions of different nature. That is why DNA damage detection, signaling and repair, collectively known as the DNA damage response, are needed.

User comments : 0

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.