The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its determination that Pacific walrus will not be listed under the Endangered Species Act days after a court mandated deadline passed.
According to a statement released today from the Fish and Wildlife Service, principal deputy director Greg Sheehan said the service’s decision is “based on a rigorous evaluation of the best available science, which indicates the population appears stable, and the species has demonstrated an ability to adapt to changing conditions.”
The Fish and Wildlife Service said the Pacific walrus population looks to be approaching stability, based on higher reproductive and survival rates than what was seen in the 1970s to 1980s.
Although decreasing sea ice has impacted walruses’ behavior regarding breeding, resting, and more, according to the service, it could not confidently predict how the animal would respond to sea ice loss in the future, beyond 2060.
In a news release, the Fish and Wildlife Service says “beyond that time, predicting behavioral responses becomes too speculative to be considered best available science for the purposes of a listing determination.”
According to the Service, the decision to not list walrus under Endangered Species Act will not affect the animal’s protection under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
This concludes the Fish and Wildlife Service’s efforts in responding to a 2008 petition requesting the listing of Pacific walrus under Endangered Species Act.
- The state is intervening in a lawsuit over the EPA's decision to rescind an Obama-era rule
- The president ended a policy that sent children to government-run facilities away from their parents, but critics say he created new problems, and kids already held may be there indefinitely.
- The University of Alaska is moving forward with a controversial Haines-area timber sale. With more information in front of the University’s Board of Regents this week, they were nearly unanimous in their decision to approve a development and disposal plan.
- Melting permafrost is creating a muddy mess in Alaska’s Arctic after two competing broadband projects dug trenches alongside the Dalton Highway for their separate fiber optic cables.