On thin ice: Help Protect Polar Bears from Extinction

Mother Jones
by Marla Cone

03/06

Born at Christmastime, cradled in pure white snow, polar bears emerge blind, toothless, a pound apiece, as feeble as kittens. Yet before they even leave the safety of their dens on Svalbard, polar bear cubs already harbor more pollutants in their bodies than most other creatures on the planet. Mother polar bears store a lifetime of chemicals in their fat and then bequeath them, via their milk, to their young. ... Scientific studies suggest that these extraordinary loads of chemicals are weakening polar bears, culling the old and the young. Their immune cells and antibodies have been suppressed, and their sex hormones, thyroid hormones, and even their bone composition have been altered. And perhaps most curious of all, small numbers of strange pseudohermaphroditic bears have been discovered. Of every 100 female bears captured on Svalbard, three or four have partial male genitalia...

//www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2006/03/on_thin_ice.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

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Help Protect Polar Bears from Extinction

//actionnetwork.org/campaign/polar_bears

The polar bear, the Arctic's top predator and an icon of the north, is threatened with extinction because global warming is rapidly melting the sea-ice habitat on which this magnificent creature depends. The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list polar bears under the Endangered Species Act in February 2005. The Fish and Wildlife Service has found that listing "may be warranted," and has requested comments from the public. Please use the form below to submit your comments today!

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s): Supervisor Scott Schliebe, Polar Bear Project Leader

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Please Protect Polar Bears under the Endangered Species Act

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

I am writing to ask you to promptly issue a proposal to list the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act, America's safety net for plants and animals on the brink of extinction. The Arctic's top predator is threatened by global warming and the melting of its sea-ice habitat, on which it depends for all its essential behaviors. With summer sea ice shrinking by 8 to 10 percent per decade, the polar bear has already lost an area of habitat roughly twice the size of Texas. The polar bear cannot survive the levels of Arctic warming and melting projected if greenhouse gas emissions are not greatly reduced in the near future.

Dramatic new evidence since the Center filed its petition to list the polar bear in February 2005 underscores the need for the Fish and Wildlife Service to promptly list the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act. The Western Hudson Bay population of polar bears, in the southernmost portion of the species' range, has already declined 14 percent in the last ten years because the shorter sea-ice season no longer allows the bears sufficient time on the ice to hunt seals and obtain the nutrition they need for overall health and reproduction.

And in Alaska, polar bears are drowning as the sea ice shrinks and recedes from land. Researchers at the U.S. Minerals Management Service documented four drowned bears in September, 2004, when the sea ice was a record 160 miles off the north coast of Alaska. These researchers believe more bears will perish in this way as global warming continues.

Please propose listing the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act. I am counting on your agency to protect this magnificent creature from the grave threat of global warming.

Sincerely,

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Stop Global Warming, save the Polar Bears!

How many Polar Bears does it take to change a lightbulb?

Well, if we don't start changing lightbulbs to compact fluorescents - and take some other simple measures to help stop the earth from getting warmer, there aren't going to be any Polar Bears. They depend on great sheets of ice - or floes- which are melting because of emissions from the fossils fuels we burn. Their habitat, the Arctic, is warming almost twice as fast as the rest of the world, with significant impacts apparent right now. Scientists say that average winter temperatures have increased as much as 7 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 50 years . The Polar Bears are drowning in increasing numbers because the ice floes that they depend on for survival are getting fewer and farther between.

//www.stopglobalwarming.org/takeaction.asp


Ideas, News and Opinions brought to you by: Fighting for Animal Rights and the Environment (FARE). An affiliate of The Earth Force United Organization (EFU). PO Box 828 Perry, Michigan 48872 EarthForceUnited@aol.com Fighting for Animal Rights and the Environment: //hometown.aol.com/earthforceunited/FARE.html

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Perfectly at home in one of the world's most forbidding environments, polar bears spend their summers roaming the Arctic on large chunks of floating ice. Without these thick rafts of sea ice, the bears can’t survive. As you read this, global warming is causing the polar bears’ Arctic habitat to literally melt away beneath them.

However, we can ensure a future for the polar bears by protecting them under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Please join us in urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect polar bears from extinction by listing them under the ESA! Click here now to send your message.

//ga3.org/campaign/polar_bears

Listing polar bears under the Endangered Species Act -- America’s safety net for plants and animals on the brink of extinction -- will provide broad protections. This listing would require that U.S. agencies not jeopardize their continued existence in any way or harm their critical habitat.

Polar bears are in growing jeopardy as the ice essential to their survival rapidly disappears. Some studies forecast an ice-free Arctic in summer as early as 2100, spelling certain doom for polar bears.

A growing number of polar bears are already drowning as they are forced to swim more often, and for longer distances, in search of ice sheets. Researchers found four dead polar bears floating 60 miles off Alaska’s coast in the fall of 2004, and it’s likely that many more will drown as ice sheets continue to melt.

Click here to join us in urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list polar bears under the ESA before it’s too late!

//ga3.org/campaign/polar_bears

Once you’ve taken action, click here to tell ten friends, family members, and co-workers about this threat to the polar bears.

//ga3.org/campaign/polar_bears/forward/

Thank you for support in protecting the polar bears and our other endangered species

Best,

Katelyn Sabochik
Online Campaign Manager
info@saveourenvironment.org

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Thanks to courtroom pressure applied by NRDC, the Bush administration has agreed to consider federal protection for the polar bear, which is mortally threatened by global warming.

But now we've really got to turn up the pressure! The Bush administration is taking comments from the public until April 10 before making its decision about whether to protect the polar bear.

Go to //www.savebiogems.org/polar/takeaction.asp right now and tell the Bush administration to protect the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act.

Global warming is rapidly pushing the polar bear to the brink of extinction.

Over the past three decades, more than a million square miles of the Arctic sea ice that polar bears depend on for survival has disappeared. And on the western coast of Canada's Hudson Bay, the ice is melting about three weeks earlier in the spring than it used to.

Polar bears range over hundreds of miles of sea ice in order to find mates, hunt for seals and fatten themselves up for dormancy.

But according to the best available scientific data, global warming could cause the polar bear's sea ice habitat to completely disappear by 2100! No sea ice, no polar bears. It's that simple.

If the polar bear receives federal protection, the Bush administration will be required by law to ensure that any new federal actions -- including those affecting global warming -- do not jeopardize the bear's survival or harm its essential Arctic habitat.

Go to //www.savebiogems.org/polar/takeaction.asp and tell the Bush administration to ensure that global warming doesn't drive these majestic natives of the far north to extinction.

Thank you for all your efforts to protect polar bears and slow global warming.

Sincerely,

Frances Beinecke
President Natural Resources Defense Council

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Greenpeace Arctic Mission to Spotlight Polar Bears

Two US explorers plan a four-month summer expedition to the North Pole to gather information on the habitat of an animal they believe could be the first victim of global warming - the polar bear. The US government said in February it would consider whether the bears should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

//www.truthout.org/issues_06/041406EB.shtml

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The Bush administration has extended its deadline for taking public comments before making its crucial decision about whether or not to protect the polar bear

Thanks so much for taking action to save the polar bear, whose survival is threatened by global warming. So far, more than 83,000 BioGems Defenders like you have raised their voices to help ensure a future for these magnificent animals.

Now, we need your help in getting even more people to speak out. The Bush administration has extended its deadline for taking public comments before making its crucial decision about whether or not to protect the polar bear. The new deadline is June 16.

Go to //www.savebiogems.org/polar/postcard.asp right now and urge your friends and family to tell the Bush administration to protect the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act.

If the polar bear receives federal protection, the Bush administration will be required by law to ensure that any new federal actions -- including those affecting global warming -- do not jeopardize the bear's survival or harm its essential Arctic habitat.

Thank you for all your efforts to protect polar bears and slow global warming.

Sincerely,

Frances Beinecke
President Natural Resources Defense Council

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Save The Polar Bear
//www.projectthinice.org/you/tips.php

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The polar bear diaries
//www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2006/12/23/smpolar23.xml


Informant: binstock



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