As the primary food for polar bears, ringed seals are a key link in the Arctic food chain -- but they're also fascinating and lovely in their own right. They use their long claws to excavate snow caves on top of sea ice to create shelters for nursing pups. But as the Arctic warms, tragically, the sea ice is breaking up earlier, and rain is falling on snow, causing these caves to collapse.
In 2012 the Center for Biological Diversity succeeded in protecting ringed seals as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. But now it's time to protect their sea-ice home, and we need your help.
The National Marine Fisheries Service recently proposed to protect more than 226 million acres of ringed seal habitat -- the largest critical habitat designation in history. But if oil companies like Shell have their way, this proposal will never become final, and these waters will be protected instead for oil rigs.
February 19, 2015 Action Alert ID# 183
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