Snippets: A Defenders Roundup

Good News for Polar Bears

Finally, there’s some positive news for polar bears. A U.S. District Court judge ruled in October that the Interior Department failed to adequately review the environmental impacts of exempting greenhouse-gas-emitting industries located outside the polar bear’s range from federal regulation. Defenders challenged the 2008 Bush-era rule, and the court is now requiring a full environmental analysis of the polar bear—the first species added to the endangered species list primarily because of threats from climate change—to prevent its extinction.  In another ruling, based on the bear’s threatened status, a federal court upheld the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to prohibit the importation of sport-hunted polar bear “trophies” from Canada.

Learn more about polar bears.

Farewell to Finning

The practice of shark-finning is brutal, wasteful, unsustainable—and almost over in California, thanks to a new law that will phase out the selling and trading of fins by 2013. The Golden State is the largest market for fins outside Asia because of a growing obsession with shark fin soup. Up to 73 million sharks die each year after their fins are cut off and the maimed fish are thrown back to the sea to die.

Thanks to all the Defenders members who wrote Congress and California Gov. Jerry Brown to get this bill passed!

More Articles from Winter 2012

The call for permanent protection continues in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, where offshore drilling threatens wildlife and a way of life.
Defenders and ranchers are working together to conserve land and species.
Defenders helps wolves and ranchers coexist in the Northwest
Tiger Mail; Wolves to the Rescue: Walrus Woes in a Warming Arctic
Sautéed, buttered, battered, fried. The ways to serve up shrimp are virtually countless. But a recent study suggests that sustainable may no longer be on the menu.
Living doesn’t come easy on the tundra. But this furry fox with a bushy blanket for a tail finds the frigid habitat fitting.
Floating effortlessly on their backs just off the Monterey Bay coast, dozens of dozing sea otters are soaking up the warm southern California sun.

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Habitat Conservation
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.
In the Magazine
A new poison is on the menu in Great Plains states, where ranchers claim that burrowing, grass-eating prairie dogs degrade pasture land.
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There Oughta Be More Otters; As the World Warms; Original Twittering Still Popular; Expecting to Fly