To the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
As a Defenders of Wildlife supporter and someone who cares about polar bears and other wildlife, I am writing today to encourage the U.S. government to move forward with a proposal to provide more protections for polar bears through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
The move to uplist polar bears from CITES Appendix II to Appendix I would end the trade of polar bear parts and products (like bear skin rugs) for primarily commercial purposes, preventing the deaths of hundreds of these struggling animals every year.
Rising temperatures are already melting the sea ice habitat that polar bears depend on for survival. In fact, a recent study from the Technical University in Denmark indicates that the Arctic Ocean could be ice-free as early as 2015.
Polar bears are facing so many threats -- including oil and gas exploration, pollution, poaching and global warming -- that these amazing animals could disappear from the U.S. by mid-century.
The U.S. can and should take the lead in protecting these magnificent animals on the international front by submitting a proposal to the CITES Secretariat to uplist polar bears to Appendix I.
Thank you for your time.