Threatened or endangered. The two words might not seem very different or important to you. But, to the polar bears, the differences will mean either their survival or extinction.
Last month, a federal judge ordered the Department of the Interior to reconsider its 2008 decision not to provide polar bears the most complete protection possible under the Endangered Species Act. Polar bears need the strongest protection possible if they’re going to avoid extinction. Listing them as “endangered” instead of “threatened” carries much more protection.
Polar bears are in real trouble. Even using model projections that have underestimated the rapid rate of sea-ice loss in the Arctic, scientists predict that two-thirds of the world's polar bears will be lost by 2050 and many much sooner. Already bears are drowning, starving and resorting to cannibalism; their populations are declining as the sea ice diminishes each year.
Please, take one minute to ask Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to provide full Endangered Species Act protection for the polar bear before it's too late.