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MEDIA ADVISORY: Protect Polar Bears / Delay Oil Leases, World Wildlife Fund Says

Washington D.C.- World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is alarmed that a decision to list the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to protect the species and its fragile Arctic environment has been plagued with delays while an oil lease sale of nearly 30 million acres of the prime polar bear habitat in the Chukchi Sea is scheduled for February 6 in Alaska. 

Two simple decisions can secure a future for the Arctic: an immediate listing of the polar bear as threatened in the ESA and a delay of oil and gas exploration lease sales. Both decisions lie with Secretary Dirk Kempthorne of the Department of the Interior.

The future of the polar bear is intrinsically linked to its Arctic domain. The science is unequivocal – if sea ice is lost, the polar bear and a host of other species will face extinction. Unfortunately, repeated appeals to the Department of the Interior for urgent action from the public, scientific and conservation organizations have been ignored.

With more than 20 years experience in polar bear conservation and a presence in all the Arctic countries, 

WWF recognizes this as perhaps one of the last chances for the polar bear and calls upon Secretary Kempthorne to do the right thing to save the irreplaceable Arctic and the magnificent sentinels of the north.

This satellite feed features SOTs from:

Carter Roberts is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Washington, DC–based World Wildlife Fund, one of the world’s premier international conservation groups.  The organization’s international Network is comprised of 30 independent WWF affiliates at work in more than 100 countries and supported by close to 5 million members globally, 1.2 million of whom are in the United States.

Margaret Williams is Managing Director, Kamchatka-Bering Sea Ecoregion at WWF-US. Williams is an expert in Arctic wildlife and conservation issues, the Bering Sea ecoregion environmental stresses, biodiversity projects in Russia and Central Asia, education in the Bering Sea ecoregion, and Russian conservation. Williams is based in Alaska and has published several studies on Arctic conservation.

B-roll includes:

- Footage of polar bears in their natural habitat

This footage is free for unrestricted use. Broadcasters: please courtesy World Wildlife Fund.
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FEED DATE:  TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2008

FEED TIME:  10:00 – 10:30 AM ET (FED IN ROTATION)

FEED TIME:  1:00 – 1:30 PM ET (FED IN ROTATION)

COORDINATES:  C-BAND: GAL 25 (formerly IA 5) /TRANSPONDER 19 /

                               AUDIO 6.2 & 6.8 / DOWNLINK:  4080 (V)

FEED DATE:  WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2008

FEED TIME:  10:00 – 10:30 AM ET (FED IN ROTATION)

FEED TIME:  1:00 – 1:30 PM ET (FED IN ROTATION)

COORDINATES:  C-BAND: GAL 25 (formerly IA 5) /TRANSPONDER 19 /

                               AUDIO 6.2 & 6.8 / DOWNLINK:  4080 (V)

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Story Number: 02DC08-0095 Story Slug: Save the Polar Bears

*This story is also available in Medialink Digital Newsroom: www.mediaseed.tv

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