WASHINGTON (CN) – Ringed, bearded and spotted arctic seals are living on thin ice, according to a petition to protect them under the Endangered Species Act.
The Center for Biological Diversity submitted the request to the National Marine Fisheries Service, which has begun a “status review” to determine if protection is warranted.
The seals may be threatened by global warming which, the petition claims, has resulted in the rapid melt of the seals’ sea-ice habitat. Pollution and habitat destruction from oil and gas exploration, competition with commercial fisheries for food, and the Russian Federation’s high allowable seal hunting quota in recent years are putting pressure on the ice seals’ ability to maintain a stable population, according to the petition.
The service requests scientific and commercial information related to listing the seals, by Nov. 3.
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