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Defenders Magazine

Summer 2013

Volume 88, Issue 3


Some of Pam Hartman’s earliest childhood recollections involve running around with a Kodak Brownie camera in her hand. Her lifelong passion for photography paid off when this photo of a mother polar bear and cubs garnered more than 12,000 online votes in Defenders’ annual photo contest. As grand-prize winner, Hartman is headed to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks on a weeklong photo tour with renowned photographer and Defenders contributor Jess Lee. Her award-winning shot came while on vacation with her husband to see polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba, where the couple stayed on the tundra with the bears 24 hours a day for five days. On the last day, while moving their camp to the banks of Hudson Bay to watch the bears head onto the sea ice, Hartman noticed this particular polar bear about 40 feet away, looking straight ahead with her two cubs lying behind her. Spotting a bus-sized tundra buggy pull up and park, the cubs moved closer to their mother’s protective embrace. Then they cautiously stuck their heads up for a peek at these curious newcomers. Hartman snapped this photo just as the mother bear looked back with a nonchalant expression as if to say, “What’s all the fuss?”


87 million Americans enjoy some form of wildlife-related recreation, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Together they spend more than $122 billion annually in wildlife-related activities—from buying binoculars to paying for lodging.
Manatees are no strangers to hardship—and so far this year they’ve gotten no breaks.
A new day is dawning for the world’s most valuable and sought after sharks in the sea.
When it comes to building a road through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, the science is clear: “It’s an environmental disaster,” says Jamie Rappaport Clark, Defenders’ president.
The wood stork rebounds; hope for fishers in the far west; the numbers on Yellowstone wolves; and more.
Despite their name, there’s only a dusting of cinnamon color atop their tawny or brownish and black coats. But red wolves are what they’ve been dubbed—even though most Americans don’t know they exist.
Surface coal mining has a serious impact on freshwater species like fish, salamanders and mussels.
Sadly, conserving our nation’s endangered wildlife has not, to date, been a focus of the Obama administration.

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For all its unique beauty, the Arctic Refuge is under assault. The oil industry and its political allies continue to launch attacks to open this national treasure to destructive oil and gas drilling, while climate change threatens to disrupt its habitats faster than wildlife can adapt.
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"We're very disappointed that Secretary Salazar decided not to cut through the red tape and restore protections for polar bears immediately," says Defenders' executive vice president Jamie Rappaport Clark.
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Good news for polar bears; Farewell to finning