Critical Habitat for Polar Bears Disappearing, WSJ Shows

A tough story from Wall Street Journal tries to strike a balance in discussing the listing of the polar bear as a threatened species. The first two graphs:

Visitors to some of the oil fields that fringe
Alaska’s Beaufort Sea get this rather disturbing warning before
venturing out into the Arctic cold: Look carefully under cars in the
parking lot and the buildings on stilts. Why? Lurking there may be one
of the world’s largest land carnivores — the polar bear, which can
actually track a man down.

But who’s to protect polar bears against humans? For
the past few years, polar bears off the Alaskan coast were observed
drowning many miles out at sea. The suspected culprit: fewer ice floes
upon which to hunt their favorite meal — seals — because of global

The story lays out the facts, clarifying the importance of a "critical habitat" designation, which the Bush administration is not going to grant, unsurprisingly. But best of all is the graphic, which makes easily visible the shrinking of sea ice in the Arctic, year-round, with an annual median….and the surrounding polar bear range, and its shrinkage. Incredible. To see it, go here.

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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