Center for Biological Diversity

Take Action to Protect Pacific Walrus

Beaufort Sea in Spring
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At this very moment, tens of thousands of ice-loving Pacific walrus are crowded on one tiny beach on the coast of Alaska because their sea-ice habitat has retreated hundreds of miles offshore. No one has ever seen this many walrus stranded on Alaska's Arctic shorelines, and this unprecedented event is a direct result of global warming.

Pacific walrus need sea ice for giving birth, raising their young and resting between trips to feed on clams. When sea ice disappears, moms and calves are forced to come to shore where young walruses are at risk of being trampled to death or attacked by predators. This summer, sea ice is reaching another record low -- third only to the devastating lows of 2007 and 2008 -- stranding unprecedented numbers of walrus on land.

In the meantime, the federal government has released a report that says there is a 40-percent chance that Pacific walrus will be on a path to extinction by century's end. And as scary as those odds are, they are likely far too optimistic because the report relied on modeling that underestimates greenhouse gas emissions, global warming and rates of Arctic sea-ice loss.

Luckily, in response to a Center for Biological Diversity petition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently conducting a status review to decide whether to list the Pacific walrus under the Endangered Species Act. This is the perfect time to take action to help give the walrus a fighting chance.

The Endangered Species Act has a proven track record of helping species on the brink like the walrus. Take action now -- before it’s too late. Please tell U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the Pacific walrus under the Endangered Species Act, designate critical habitat, and design and implement a recovery plan as soon as possible.

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Please submit comments by September 24, 2010.

Pacific walrus photo courtesy USFWS.