On Thin Ice

On Thin Ice

In the face of climate change and offshore drilling, biologists are tracking walruses to better understand their behavior and protect the areas most important to them. 

By Alisa Opar
Published: 11/09/2011

Audubon Alaska is among those groups identifying biologically important areas in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. The group created an atlas that documents habitat, from where seabirds nest to the migratory paths of bowhead whales, to help inform management policies. Audubon Alaska plans to submit an analysis to the Interior Department on the rich diversity of sea life on the outer continental shelf during the upcoming public comment period concerning leasing for oil and gas exploration. "We learned of some of the places that are very important for certain species, but there's still so much we don't know," says Melanie Smith, Audubon Alaska's landscape ecologist. "We can't stop the sea ice from melting, at least not in the immediate future. So the best thing we can do is protect the places we know are important and keep looking [forward]."

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Submit written comments on the draft proposal until January 9, 2012, online here or as letters directed to: J. F. Bennett, Chief, Division of Environmental Assessment, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 381 Elden Street, Mail Stop 4042, Herndon, VA 20170-4817.

Magazine Category
Topic

Author Profile

Alisa Opar

Alisa Opar is the articles editor at Audubon magazine. Follow her on Twitter @alisaopar.

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine

Comments

On thin ice

Thank you for this interesting article, which shows us how fragile life in the Arctic has become

On thin ice

Thank you for this interesting article, which shows us how fragile life in the Arctic has become

So cool! I love animals so

So cool! I love animals so much! Tell me where I can get an article on animals but appropriate.

Thank
you!

Add comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.