Polar bears listed

Overdue decision makes polar bears a "threatened species"

3:17pm, May 14, 2008

The polar bear made it onto the U.S. endangered species list May 14 with an unusual flurry of administrative guidance, rule making and grumbling.

The species will be classified as “threatened” because its Arctic ice habitat is melting, said Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne at a press conference. He noted that last summer the Arctic ice cover shrank to the skimpiest remnant on record and that computer analyses predict even more drastic melting ahead.

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