Protection Upheld for Arctic's Ringed Seals


Center for Biological Diversity
February 2018

We celebrated this week when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Endangered Species Act protection for ringed seals, Arctic ice seals threatened by climate change. The ruling reverses a 2016 lower-court decision that rejected protection for the seals, which give birth in snow caves built on top of sea ice.

Global warming is causing caves to collapse and leaving pups vulnerable to death by freezing or predation.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to protect these seals in 2008. Four years later they were put on the endangered species list but the oil industry and the state of Alaska challenged that decision.

"The decision underscores the recklessness of the Trump administration's proposal to open up the Arctic Ocean to oil drilling," said the Center's Kristen Monsell. "Ringed seals have a shot at survival thanks to the Endangered Species Act, but only if we rapidly reduce the greenhouse pollution destroying their habitat."

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