05/15/2008 - The U.S. government will list the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, making it the first animal to win protections because of global warming.
The Arctic sea ice is vital to the bear's survival, its habitat has dramatically melted, and computer models show that the pack ice is likely to continue shrinking in the foreseeable future, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said Wednesday in announcing the move.
Environmental groups had pressed the Bush administration to list the polar bear in hopes that the U.S. government would then pass restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions from factories, power plants and vehicles, saying that strategy is the only way to avoid the harshest effects of climate change. They also wanted to curb oil drilling in the Arctic.
View U.S. to List Polar Bears as Threatened Species on the San Francisco Chronicle's site.