Endangered and Threatened Species
On 14 May 2008 the U.S. Department of the Interior listed the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. It cited melting sea ice and reduction in available territory as the primary threat. However, the Interior Department added a stipulation to allow oil and gas exploration and development to proceed in areas inhabited by polar bears, provided companies comply with the existing restrictions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
In 2013, the designation of polar bears as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act was upheld Friday by a Washington, D.C., appellate court,