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Federal Scientists Predict Total Extinction of Polar Bears in Alaska by Mid-Century

Contact:  Elizabeth Heyd, NRDC, 202/289-2424 or cell: 202/725-0648

More than Half of Polar Bear Populations Extinct by 2050

Statement by Andrew Wetzler, director of the Endangered Species Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): 

“Today’s study by the U.S. Geological Survey reaffirms scientific evidence that has been clear for years: Global warming threatens polar bears with extinction and they need to be protected under the Endangered Species Act.”

“The study was commissioned by Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, and carried out by U.S. Geological Survey. It predicts that almost two-thirds of the world’s 19 polar bear populations will be extinct by mid-century. It also says three more populations of polar bears will probably be extinct within 75 years.”

The study is available in the USGS newsroom.

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The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing. More information on NRDC is available at its Web site.

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