Ringed SealThe Centre for Biological Diversity reports that as a result of their 2008 petition, the US Federal Government has added Ringed seals and Bearded seals, found in the waters off Alaska, to the list of endangered species.
Both seal species are dependent on the existence of sea ice which is rapidly declining during summer, with some scientists saying the Arctic could be largely ice free as early as 2016. These are the first species since polar bears to be protected primarily because of climate change threats.
“Arctic animals face a clear danger of extinction from climate change,” said Shaye Wolf, the Center’s climate science director. “The Endangered Species Act offers strong protections for these seals, but we can’t save the Arctic ecosystem without confronting the broader climate crisis. The Obama administration has to take decisive action, right now, against greenhouse gas pollution to preserve a world filled with ice seals, walruses and polar bears.”
Related: Centre for Biological Diversity: Saving the Bearded, Ringed and Spotted Seals