Protection Proposal Designates Polar Bear Habitat

The Obama Administration has released a proposed rule designating critical habitat for polar bears under the Endangered Species Act.
After listing the bear as threatened under the Act last year, the Department of Interior is now proposing to designate for protection 200,541 square miles of the polar bear's melting sea ice habitat, as well as barrier islands and terrestrial den habitat. 

"The Department of Interior continues to demonstrate its commitment to safeguarding wildlife and natural resources from the current and anticipated effects of climate change. Designating critical habitat will give polar bears some much needed relief," said John Kostyack, executive director of Wildlife Conservation and Global Warming at National Wildlife Federation.

"While Congress works to address the challenge of climate change comprehensively through legislation that caps global warming pollution and invests in clean energy jobs and natural resources safeguards, we applaud the Obama administration for moving forward with protections for wildlife already being threatened by climate change."

The National Wildlife Federation intends to analyze the detailed maps of the areas covered by the proposed critical habitat designation and provide comments to the Interior Department.

Published: October 28, 2009