The federal government has rejected an endangered species listing for a seal species that relies on sea ice for molting and reproducing.
The National Marine Fisheries Service announced Tuesday that it has rejected listing ribbon seals as a threatened or endangered species despite evidence that its habitat is impacted by climate change.
Ribbon seals are found in the Bering and Chukchi (Chuk-CHEE’) seas off Alaska and in the Sea of Okhotsk (oh-KOTSK’) off Russia. They are not in danger of disappearing under the time limits required for listing in the Endangered Species Act, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
"NOAA’s status review concluded that the anticipated threats to ribbon seals, primarily from reductions in sea ice and disrupted prey communities, will result in a gradual decline in ribbon seal population abundance," said Julie Speegle in the announcement. “However, this decline is not expected to render the species in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future."…
(read more: ABC News)