Northern coast of Greenland, some far north islands in Canada to be only home for polar bears

Last ditch location of polar bears is predicted-

As arctic ice continues to melt, scientists have predicted where last few polar bears will make their last stand.

Where Polar Bears Might Go If Climate Change Doesn’t Slow. By Pete Spotts. Christian Science Monitor/ABC News

Critical habitat for polar bears is finally designated

187,157 square miles of Alaskan land and (mostly) ocean to be for the bears-

U.S. Firms Up ‘Critical Habitat’ for Polar Bears. By Felicity Barringer. The Green Blog in the New York Times. Here is the web page on this from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Dept. of Interior).

This is very important, but designation of critical habitat can’t stop the ice from melting. The future of these bears looks grim.

Ancient DNA from Rare Fossil Reveals That Polar Bears Evolved Recently and Adapted Quickly

Polar bears are a geologically very new species-

This is quite relevant because we have been discussing how grizzly bears are displacing polar bears in the Arctic.  We already knew brown bears were polar bears’ ancestors.

Ancient DNA from Rare Fossil Reveals That Polar Bears Evolved Recently and Adapted Quickly. Science Daily.

Grizzlies move into Canadian polar bear territory

Will there be more “pizzlies”/” grolar bears”?

Someone put up a version of this on our “have you run across any interesting news page.” Now for a full post.

Grizzlies encroach on polar bear territory
By Doreen Walton
Science reporter, BBC News

Seems like I read polar bears are a more recently evolved species than the big brown grizzly bear (called by other names in Asia and Europe)

Sarah Palin: The view from Alaska

Palin is not a typical Alaskan-

Salon Magazine has a report on Palin as one kind of Alaskan — the kind that came north during the oil boom and changed the state’s culture for the worse (in the opinion of the Alaskan author of the piece). She is far from being “Jane, six pack;” and even her accept in not really Alaskan.

Sarah Palin: The view from Alaska. By Nick Jans.

Amid “Troopergate” and other government scandals, including killing wolf pups, an Alaskan writer explains why the Palin phenomenon rings hollow in his home state.

Sarah Palin: Ice queen of the Arctic

A view of Palin’s views on the environment from a major U.K. newspaper.

Sarah Palin, the Republican party’s vice-president nominee, governs an oil-rich area that has seen some of the most dramatic effects of climate change. So what’s her record on environmental concerns?

By Britt Collins. The Guardian. Sarah Palin: Ice queen of the Arctic

Ranching & Forestry industries send 60-day Notice of Intent to Sue Interior to prevent Polar Bear listing

The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) sent a 60-day Notice of Intent to sue the Department of Interior over its decision to list Polar Bears under the Endangered Species Act.  From PLF’s News Release:

The PLF letter is filed on behalf of ranching and forestry interests that, along with employers nationwide and the economy in general, would be harmed by heavy-handed regulations that could proceed from the listing of the polar bear.

Hunting Season is Open on Polar Bears’ ESA ListingMother Jones

Posted in Climate change, endangered species act, Grazing and livestock, Logging, property rights. Tags: . Comments Off on Ranching & Forestry industries send 60-day Notice of Intent to Sue Interior to prevent Polar Bear listing

Oil Companies Get OK To Annoy Bears

As suggested in an earlier post (or two), the Bush Administration’s Fish & Wildlife Service is doing its best to take its decision to list polar bears and extend federal protections to oil companies with it :

Oil Companies Get OK To Annoy BearsAP

Posted in Bears, Climate change, endangered species act, oil and gas. Tags: , . Comments Off on Oil Companies Get OK To Annoy Bears

Groups file suit to overturn use of “4(d) rule” on Polar Bear listing

Earlier we noted Secretary of Interior, Dirk Kempthorne’s decision to list the Polar Bear as a threatened species.  Kempthorne was spreading around the idea that the ESA was not intended to regulate greenhouse gases, the principle threat affecting polar bear habitat.

Now, we learn of the “4(d) rule”, a waiver of protections normally afforded species given ESA protections.

Fortunately, Environmental Groups Seek Full Protection for Polar Bear by filing suit.

Posted in Climate change, endangered species act. Tags: . Comments Off on Groups file suit to overturn use of “4(d) rule” on Polar Bear listing

Alaskan gov’t wants to find scientists who will study polar bears to prove they’re not threatened by global warming

Alaskan gov’t wants to find scientists who will study polar bears to prove they’re not threatened by global warming. UPI

Would these scientists be paid no compensation if they didn’t find what the Republican legislators want?

That is not how real science is conducted — EVER.

Judge Orders Bush Administration to Decide Polar Bears’ Status by May 15

Judge Orders Bush Administration to Decide Polar Bears’ Status by May 15. VOA.

The Bush Administration was pressured into considering the polar bear for endangered species status, and their strategy has been to prolong the consideration while the bears decline, oil leases are let, and their own time in office runs out. A federal judge was wise to their strategy.

Polar Bears could halt Shell Arctic plan. By Nick Mathiason. The Observer.

Three polar bears wander into town hundreds of miles south of their normal range

Grizzly bears are showing up in the high arctic and polar bears wandering south of the Arctic Circle.

These 3 starving polar bears were shot when they discovered food in a village far inland.

Lost polar bears hit NWT town. Animals’ arrival hundreds of kilometres south of habitat seen as sign of climate change. By Katherine O’Neil. The Globe and Mail.

Oil politics alleged in polar bear decision

Oil politics alleged in polar bear decision. San Francisco Chronicle.

This story is up on many on-line places today.

Grizzly found in polar bear country

A grizzly bear has been found in what is polar bear country, and he is thriving.

Folks may recall that about a year ago a hunter shot a grizzly/polar bear hybrid.

This may be yet another effect of the rapid warming at the poles.

Story in the Edmonton Journal. Ed Struzik. Grizzly found in polar bear country.

Posted in Bears, Climate change. Tags: , . Comments Off on Grizzly found in polar bear country

Public Lands Tag Sale

Diary of a Mad Voter: Joan McCarter. Public Lands Tag Sale. By Joan McCarter. New West.

While media talks about the horse race for President, it’s going to be a year of plunder on the public lands, and most it will not be covered. McCarter writes about what is going on, starting with the Bush Administration’s cynical ploy on the polar bears.

The President has given his last State of the Union Address; now for the last year of the ravaging of the countryside.

Listing polar bears under the Endangered Species Act won’t do much good, but we should do it anyway

This is from Slate Magazine.

Listing polar bears under the Endangered Species Act won’t do much good, but we should do it anyway. By Holly Doremus

Update (more). Here is more on the Administration’s footdragging on listing the polar bear. The Latest Environmental Victims: The Polar Bear and the Sage Grouse. The Board, a blog by the editorial writers of the New York Times.

No bears for oil

“Why hasn’t the polar bear been granted federal protection? Maybe because the Bush administration plans a last-minute handout of oil leases on its habitat.” No Bears for Oil. By Katharine Mieszkowski. Salon Magazine (may require a subscription to read the full article on-line).

In a related matter, there has been some loss of interest by the oil companies in drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge despite 25 years of trying to get in. Drilling in that country requires frozen ground (permafrost in the summer under the couple feet of melted surface soil). With the rapid warming of the Arctic, the area is turning into a swamp/marsh for a large part of the year.