More than two years after Alaskan polar bears were given a protection status of “threatened species” by the US Endangered Species Act, the Obama administration set aside on Wednesday 24 November 484,330 sq kilometres — twice the size of the UK — in Alaska as “critical habitat”.

Almost all of the area is offshore sea ice habitat — where polar bears spend most of their time hunting seals, breeding and travelling—in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off Alaska’s northern coast. It also includes on-shore barrier islands and land used for making dens. About 4,800 polar bears ramble along Alaska’s ice and shores.

The story continues at Nature’s blog The Great Beyond

Written by Hannah

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