Today, the U. S Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced a proposal to list the emperor penguin as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) based on evidence that the animal’s sea ice habitat is shrinking and is likely to continue to do so over the next several decades. Proposing a listing of threatened means the animal is at risk of becoming an endangered species–in danger of extinction–in the foreseeable future if its habitat continues to be destroyed or adversely changed.
Following the presidential election, a leading group of scientists are making the case that a “rule reversal” will not be sufficient to allow the Endangered Species Act to do its job of protecting species. Instead, they’re calling for deeper improvements to the rules the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service use to apply the law–aiming to make the Act more effective and to gain bipartisan and industry support in an era of accelerating climate change.
The team’s analysis and policy recommendations were published in the journal Science.