An appeals court panel has ruled that a federal agency acted reasonably in proposing to list a certain population of bearded seals as threatened by the sea ice loss.
The decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reverses a lower court ruling that found the decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service was improper.
At issue was whether the fisheries service can protect species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act when it determines that a currently non-endangered species will lose habitat due to climate change in coming decades.
The appeals court panel ruling issued Monday found the fisheries service’s listing decision was reasonable.
It says the fisheries service relied on the best available scientific data and seriously considered comments it received.
This story has been corrected to note the court decision refers to a certain population of bearded seals, not certain populations
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