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May 26, 2010

The Ailing Arctic

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a wilderness of 30,685 square miles (80,000 sq km), home to caribou, polar bears, musk oxen, arctic foxes, and grizzlies.  Milliions of birds from over 100 species breed there each year.  Although the Refuge has been protected from development since its foundation in 1960, the proposal to drill for oil on its coastal plain presents a threat to its wildlife, especially to the breeding caribou. 

Rising temperatures and earlier spring melts could expose polar bear cubs, born in snow dens, to the harsh cold of the Arctic too early in their development. 

The deeper causes of many of the problems facing the Arctic, such as global warming and pollution, lie much further to the south, in the industrialized nations, and can only be tackled there. 

Go to Defenders of Wildlife and help save the Arctic.

Visit Humans vs. Habitats to learn more.

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