Pacific walruses need Arctic sea ice for resting, socializing, and giving birth and nursing their young. Their survival depends on ice -- but it's melting out from underneath them due to climate change. Summer Arctic sea ice has shrunk by 40 percent over the past few decades and is projected to vanish within the next decade or two.
That's why the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2008 to protect Pacific walruses as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Service responded by putting Pacific walruses on a waiting list for protection, where they've been languishing ever since. But as a result of follow-up legal action by the Center, the Service must make a decision about whether to protect walruses by this fall.
Studies have shown that the Endangered Species Act is 99 percent effective at preventing wildlife from going extinct. It's time for walruses to get the protection they deserve.
Add your name today to urge the Service to protect the Pacific walrus under the Endangered Species Act before it's too late.
Subject: Please Protect Pacific Walruses
I'm writing to urge you to list the Pacific walrus as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. In 2011 you determined that Pacific walruses deserved this protection due to severe threats from climate change, which is melting the sea ice they need for survival. Since that time climate threats to walruses have only worsened.
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This year Arctic sea ice extent has hit a record low in every month. Arctic summer sea ice is about half as thick and extensive as it was just a few decades ago. Scientists project that in the absence of forceful action to reduce carbon pollution, this ice will disappear in the next decade or two.
Walruses need sea ice for giving birth, raising their young, socializing and resting between trips to feed on clams. Over the past decade, summer sea ice in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska has disappeared, forcing moms and babies to come ashore, where the young risk being trampled to death or attacked by predators.
The Endangered Species Act has a proven track record of preventing wildlife from going extinct, and the Pacific walrus has waited long enough for protection. I urge you to list this animal under the Endangered Species Act, designate critical habitat, and design and implement a recovery plan as soon as possible.