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The State of Alaska questioned whether listing polar bears as a threatened species as proposed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service is wise, according to a news article in the Anchorage Daily News (ADN).

"Tina Cunnings, a biologist and a special assistant to the commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game, questioned whether polar bears really need sea ice to survive. She said polar bears are adaptable to use land for hunting, and though their preferred food, ice seals, may be declining, bears are adapting to alternative food sources.

She also testified that a listing in the United States ultimately could harm bears in Canada because Inuit villagers would no longer have an incentive to preserve them for American hunters. An ESA listing would ban importation of polar bear trophy hides.

The Palin administration had earlier questioned the move, according to the ADN, saying "The driving force in the concern over polar bears, she said, is the decline in sea ice. Listing bears as threatened, would not cause sea water to freeze."

Read the entire article in the Anchorage Daily News >>>

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