US announces toothless polar bear plan

2017-01-09 22:13

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Anchorage - The US Fish and Wildlife Service released its plan on Monday for the recovery of threatened polar bears, acknowledging it will take no direct action for addressing the primary threat - greenhouse gases that contribute to the decline of sea ice habitat.

Polar bears, the first species to be declared threatened or endangered because of climate change, rely on sea ice for hunting seals and raising their young. Climate models project that continued rising temperatures will continue to diminish sea ice throughout the century.

The plan calls for reduced greenhouse gas emissions but focuses actions to be taken by the agency only on other conservation strategies, such as preventing contamination from spills, protecting dens or reducing conflicts with humans.

Shaye Wolf, climate science director for the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed the petition to list polar bears in 2005, called the recovery plan toothless.

The plan, she said, acknowledges polar bears will not survive without cuts in large-scale greenhouse gas pollution. Science in the plan shows the need to keep global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius for polar bears to have any reasonable chance of survival, she said.

The agency's job, she said, was to call out the steps needed to be taken for polar bears to survive. "It acknowledges the problem but fails to put the solution in the core strategy for the bear," she said.

The agency in its plan said addressing increased atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases that result in Arctic warming will require global action. Until that happens, the focus of recovery will be on US wildlife management actions that will contribute to polar bear survival in the interim "so that they are in a position to recover once Arctic warming has been abated," the plan said.

Dirk Kempthorne, who was Secretary of the Interior under President George W Bush, announced in 2008 that polar bears would be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. But he added immediately that endangered species law would not be used to set climate policy or limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more on:    us  |  animals  |  global warming  |  marine life

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.