Polar Bears Won't Get 'Endangered' Label
Environmentalists angry that they're merely 'threatened'
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2010 4:11 PM CST
Polar bear Flocke eats a birthday cake made in with ice, herring, and fruit in France on Dec. 9.   (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

(Newser) – Not everybody's heaping praise on the Obama administration this week: Environmentalists are fuming that the Fish and Wildlife Service decided not to ramp up protection of polar bears by changing their status from "threatened" to "endangered." In response to a court deadline, the agency said yesterday that the bears are indeed at risk, just not the imminent risk the "endangered" label requires, reports the Washington Post.

"I guess if a wrecking ball is barreling down on your house, you are just 'threatened,'" Andrew Wetzler of the Natural Resources Defense Council told AFP. The heightened status could have created a regulatory mess by requiring the Obama administration to curb greenhouse gas emissions, notes the New York Times. Click here to read about fears that climate change could create a new polar-grizzly beast.

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Showing 3 of 31 comments
janbee
Dec 24, 2010 7:19 AM CST
The greeting of Merry Christmas was offered sincerely. Here is a case where it is rather obvious one of god's creatures is being threatened. Do we need to take a count? Is it not obvious that their habitat is being threatened? The Polar Bear will adapt?? In a perfect world yes, however where will the polar bears go? Just as other species are finding in South America where ranchers are burning down and clearing large areas of the Amazon, in Africa, and Asia where animals are losing any habitat. I'm surprised there isn't some legislation being proposed for sterilization of wild animals to prevent over-population, when it is humans that need such treatment. People are adaptable, yet we keep expanding our own habitat, at the loss to other god's creatures. How does that work? In the animal world when one species, bears, elks, wolves, deers, ducks, turkeys populations grow beyond what our society deem acceptable limits, when our own habitats are threatened by free roaming animals coming into our towns looking for food -- what do we do? Hunting season. When humans over-populate their environments all we do is take, take, take, take........... My earlier comment regarding DLY stands -- he is insensitive, full of bumper-stickers, politicizes news, and with over 13-k postings here are Newser -- his opinions and submitted stories are oversaturating this board. DLY, called someone out as a Liar -- who among you believes the Polar Bear is fine? Do we need the government, a scientist, a mathemetician?? Yet he called someone a Liar. Sometime one action begets another action.
matteo
Dec 24, 2010 3:23 AM CST
im very bewildered as to how people can call themselves intelligent when most still don't understand how essential biodiversity is for human beings...respecting nature is respecting ourselves and nothing anyone can say can change this...the bear is just an example of how economical interests are preferred to logical interests without taking into consideration that with no ecology there will be no economy ......
finkster
Dec 24, 2010 2:26 AM CST
But the last remaining Polar bears will still be able to do those endearing Coke-a Cola commercials.