Agency agrees to designate habitat for threatened ice seals
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A federal agency will decide by September how much ocean and coast will be designated as critical habitat for two ice seal species found in Alaska.
The Center for Biological Diversity announced Monday it had reached an agreement with the Commerce Department for the Trump administration to issue a critical habitat rule for ringed and bearded seals.
Ringed and bearded seals live off Alaska’s northwest coast. Both are listed as threatened.
Designation of critical habitat for threatened species is required by the Endangered Species Act a year after a listing. The Center for Biological Diversity sued in June because no critical habitat has been designated.
Federal agencies that authorize activities such as oil drilling within critical habitat must consult with wildlife managers to determine if threatened species will be affected.
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