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Soundings Archive

CBD and FWS Settle Walrus Listing Case
On May 18, 2009, a federal judge approved a settlement between the Center for Biological Diversity and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The settlement requires FWS to make an initial finding by September 10, 2009, on CBD's petition for Endangered Species Act protection of the pacific walrus. In 2010 FWS has to make a final decision whether or not to list the walrus under the ESA.

The pacific walrus is adapted to live on sea ice. CBD claims that the walrus is endangered because climate change is melting its ice. According to CBD:

    "The rapid melting of sea ice is forcing the Pacific walrus into a land-based existence for which it is not adapted. In 2007, the early and extensive disappearance of summer sea ice pushed females and calves onto land on the Russian and Alaskan coasts in abnormally dense herds. As a result, calves suffered high mortality on land due to trampling by those herds. Walrus calves, unable to swim as long as adults, have also been observed abandoned by their mothers at sea, which has been attributed to the disappearance of the sea ice on which they would normally rest."
  • Click here to read CBD's press release about the settlement

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