Joined: 3 Jun 2007
Dear Kupikians for Causes:
Due to the short time for action here, i'm proposing immediate adoption of this as our
Summary of the Cause:
To encourage the U.S. Interior Department to list the polar bear under the Endangered
Species Act thereby protecting it and its habitat which is being threatened due to the
effects of global warming. Although, a judge has now ordered the Department to publish its
determination, it is possible that it could fight the order legally.
(selections from L.A. Times article)
A federal judge has ordered the Interior Department to decide by May 15 whether the polar
bear should be protected as an endangered species because of melting sea ice due to global
The polar bear makes its living hunting arctic seals when ice covers the polar seas. As
the ice has retreated for longer periods every spring and summer, the fasting period for
the bears has grown longer, weakening them and disrupting their reproduction.
Scientists have documented bears that have resorted to cannibalism and drowned between
large gaps in the ice. In addition, reproductive rates for females and survival rates for
cubs have declined, according to studies. The U.S. Geological Survey predicts that
two-thirds of the polar bears may vanish by 2050.
Regardless of what the agency decides, lawyers for conservation groups said they believed
that mounting scientific evidence would make it easy to persuade a judge that an
endangered species listing was warranted.
Kassie Siegel, who wrote the initial petition for the Center for Biological Diversity,
called the coming decision "the first step toward saving the polar bear and the entire
Arctic ecosystem from global warming."
The Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council
said they sought the listing in part to force the Bush administration to take more serious
steps toward combating global warming, such as imposing federal limits on greenhouse gas
The polar bear listing comes as the Bush administration is moving to open to new oil and
gas drilling prime polar bear habitat in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's north coast.
-- An "endangered" species is "any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all
or a significant portion of its range, whereas a "threatened" species is "any species
which is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout
all or a significant portion of its range.”
-- The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and
notices of federal agencies. It is updated daily by 6:00 am and is published Monday
through Friday, except federal holidays.
-- Polar bears are already protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The
MMPA, like the ESA, prohibits any killing, including incidental take, unless exempted or
authorized under the statute. However, the protections afforded under the ESA far surpass
those provided by the MMPA, because the ESA also protects species' habitat. Also, under
the ESA, all federal agencies are required to confer with the Secretary of the Interior
prior to authorizing, funding, or carrying out any action that might destroy or adversely
modify the critical habitat, or otherwise jeopardize the existence, of a species listed
under the ESA.
-- Five nations have polar bear populations: the United States (in Alaska), Canada,
Russia, Norway and Denmark/Greenland
Call to ACTION:
Even though this is going to be resolved soon and the decision/designation has almost
surely been determined, it doesn’t hurt to visit these two pages below and post a note
similar to mine below. (Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that Secretary Dirk Kempthorne
publishes his email, not even his “official” one.)
Dear Secretary Kempthorne,
It is my understanding that your agency must publish the listing of whether the polar bear
is an endangered or threatened species by May 15th. Although the time for public comment
has long passed, I wanted to encourage your office to give the polar bear the benefits of
the Endangered Species Act as soon as possible and without delay.
The future of this magnificent animal is important to all people and I hope you agree that
it deserves protection.
YOU CAN ALSO VISIT THIS LINK AND SIGN THIS: