For the first time in two decades, federal wildlife managers will take a look at how they administer the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including the possibility of asking Congress to make 1.5 million acres of the long-disputed coastal plain off limits to oil and gas development by designating it as wilderness.
Moises Velasquez-Manoff, Christian Science Monitor
Jan 15, 2010
Now, a new study in the journal Science emphasizes another reason the long voyage may be worth it for birds: fewer predators.
Titled “Lower Predation Risk for Migratory Birds at High Latitudes," the study finds that, the farther north birds go in the Arctic, the lower the risk of predation. Fewer predators mean that vulnerable young have greater chance of survival.
Even accounting for the huge energy cost of the long voyage, having young in the Arctic improves reproductive success.
Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says he has the best interest of polar bears at heart, but he doesn't intend to let the federal government's expanded protection for bears get in the way of the state's continued prosperity.
Like his predecessor, Sarah Palin, the governor is suing the federal government to overturn the listing of the iconic symbol of the Arctic as a threatened species, a move made last year that he believes could threaten Alaska's lifeblood: petroleum development.