In October the U.S. government proposed designating more than 200,000 square miles (500,000 square kilometers) of land, sea, and ice along Alaska's north coast as critical habitat for the polar bear, which is listed as threatened with extinction under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
"That is a huge, positive affirmation that losing the polar bear is unacceptable," said the Center for Biological Diversity's Cummings. "If we are truly going to protect this habitat, we are going to have to deal with the climate crisis."
Photograph by Alaska Stock Images, National Geographic Stock