As the planet warms, we’re seeing a startling loss of Arctic sea ice. This is a major concern when it comes to wildlife conservation—particularly for polar bears. Dr. Klenzendorf shares her experience observing polar bears in Churchill.
America’s Arctic will be free of new offshore oil and gas drilling, at least for the next five years, and that’s good news for people and wildlife. WWF and 225,000 of our activists opposed drilling in the Arctic’s Beaufort and Chuckchi seas due to the tremendous risk to indigenous communities, wildlife, and their environment.
The Arctic—home to diverse wildlife and many cultures—is changing faster than any other part of the planet in the face of climate change. But there’s still time left to help the Arctic and the impacts of climate change. Experts agreed on five important ways we can take action.
The Arctic’s summer sea ice appears to have hit its lowest extent of the year, putting pressure on the region’s diverse wildlife. Ice covered only 1.6 million square miles on Sept. 10, and 2016 is now tied with 2007 for the second-lowest sea ice extent on record, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center.
After a record-breaking warm Arctic winter, sea ice hit a record low for the largest area it covers during the winter months. The ice covered only 5.60 million square miles on March 24— surpassing last year’s record low of 5.61 million square miles.
Alaska's Lake Iliamna is home to a population of around 400 harbor seals, which feast on fish and bask on the rocky islands at the lake’s northeastern end. They are under threat from Pebble Mine, the enormous open-pit gold and copper mine proposed for headwaters just 17 miles northwest of the seals’ haul-out sites
The pressures driving desires to develop the Arctic are not unfamiliar to us. We see them in these other magnificent places. Expedited transportation routes. New fossil fuel reserves. Robust new fisheries. But we need to ensure that the push to exploit these resources does not overrun efforts to conserve them. We need to keep in mind some guiding principles.
After years of searching for oil in the cold and turbulent waters of Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its plans to drill for the “foreseeable future.” This announcement is the conclusion of weeks of summer exploration, where results of drilling to a depth of 6,800 feet indicated oil and gas findings were “not sufficient to warrant further exploration.”
For another year, Arctic sea ice will cover much less of the Arctic Ocean than it used to. And with less ice comes more killer whales—predators that feed on other whales, including some recovering species.
The US government announced its draft plan to conserve polar bears, calling for timely and decisive reduction of greenhouse gas emission levels to curb climate change. Immediate action to reduce the long-term impact of climate change is essential.
WWF today called on the U.S. government to prohibit offshore oil and gas drilling activities in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off of Alaska, and not to issue any new permits until companies demonstrate that they can drill safely in the region.
In recognition of the leadership role the US must play in the Arctic, especially to address climate change impacts, President Obama has announced an Executive Order that will help the US government coordinate work in the management of the Arctic and its precious resources.
Today President Obama announced the protection of Bristol Bay, Alaska, from offshore oil and gas drilling. Bristol Bay is home to the last pristine salmon ecosystem in North America and stands unmatched in its productivity. Nearly 50 percent of the world’s wild sockeye salmon come from these waters.
Forty percent. That’s the stunning population loss for polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea. The news comes from a new study linking the dramatic decline in this polar bear subpopulation in northeast Alaska and Canada to a loss of sea ice due to climate change.
WWF's Elisabeth Kruger focuses on mitigating conflict between polar bears and people, and ensuring species conservation is consistent in the three countries that are home to the Bering, Chukchi, and Beafort Sea polar bears: the US, Russia and Canada.
As Arctic sea ice nears its minimum this year, walruses—mostly females and their young—have been forced ashore into crowded haul-outs in Russia and Alaska. The sea ice has again disappeared over shallow feeding areas in the Chukchi Sea.
New research mapping a range of oil spill scenarios in the Canadian Beaufort Sea finds that a spill would likely reach the U.S. shorelines of Alaska and could affect the local communities and wildlife living there.