"ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A U.S. federal appeals court ruled on Thursday that the Trump administration improperly denied Endangered Species Act protections to Pacific walruses, animals reliant on diminishing Arctic sea ice for survival.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Obama administration concluded in 2011 that designating walruses as “threatened” under the wildlife protection law was warranted, and the marine mammal was put in line for formal listing.
But Fish and Wildlife reversed itself in 2017 under then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, determining that a listing and protections that come with it were not called for.
The agency asserted at the time that Pacific walruses had managed to adapt to ice loss and that there was uncertainty about threats to the species’ population."