Legal action can be taken so that threatened and endangered wild animals should have a chance to survive. Such is the case of the Arctic bearded seals. Officials are fighting for their rights in Court, and the best solution is adding them to the Endangered Species Act. The new status of the animals is now “threatened.”
The official decision of judges came earlier this week, on Monday. They also took into consideration previous decisions of an Alaska court, which stated that the bearded seals would become an endangered species before the end of the century. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the animals should be already listed as threatened species to prevent such a situation.
The main reason why bearded seals are threatened in the wild is habitat loss. The change is brought about by global warming, which causes massive ice and snow melting at the Poles. The bearded seals, as well as many other animals at the Poles, rely on the thick layer of ice. They use it for hunting, resting, and finding shelter.
The listing on an official act improves the odds of bearded seals to fight for survival in the ever-warming world that both wildlife and humans are sharing. The environmentalists’ mission is twofold. On the one hand, they have to come up with proper conservation strategies that should benefit the animal species in need. On the other hand, they have to find plans to fight against the primary human-caused factors that lead to this situation in the first place.
According to statistics from the Center for Biological Diversity, the bearded seals could experience a loss of habitat which can amount to forty percent in the next thirty-four years. Polar bears were the first animal species to be declared endangered by global warming as the main threat. They were listed as endangered in 2008 when statistics revealed that one hundred eighty-seven thousand square miles of their habitat were affected by climate change.
There are four species of Arctic seals. The bearded seals are also called square flipper seals. The denominations provide us with clear hints on the marine animals’ appearance. They have impressive whiskers and square-shaped front flippers. The bearded seals are medium-sized animals, but females are usually larger than males. They feed on fish, squid, and clams which they find on the ocean floor.
Image courtesy of: Flickr