Federal wildlife officials on Monday called climate change the biggest threat to the survival of the polar bear and warned that without decisive action to combat global warming, the bears would almost certainly disappear from much of the Arctic.
“It cannot be overstated that the single most important action for the recovery of polar bears is to significantly reduce the present levels of global greenhouse gas emissions,” the officials wrote in a report released by the Fish and Wildlife Service.
“The sooner global warming and sea-ice loss are stopped, the better the long-term prognosis for the species,” they added.
The report, called a conservation management plan, is required under the Endangered Species Act and outlines what must be done for a species to recover and avoid extinction. The polar bear was listed as threatened under the act in 2008.