An environmental group sued the Trump administration over its decision not to institute federal protections for the Pacific walrus species.

In the lawsuit filed Thursday, the Center for Biological Diversity argues that the Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) ignored the threat to the walrus species from climate change.

The FWS said in 2011 that the Pacific walrus warranted protection as a threatened species, since the sea ice it needs will continue to melt. But the Trump administration said in October that the species has other ways to survive.


“The Trump administration’s outrageous reversal is a deathblow for the Pacific walrus,” Emily Jeffers, an attorney with the group, said in a statement.

“Arctic ice is disappearing at a record rate, and walruses are suffering catastrophic habitat loss. Rather than ignoring the science, the administration needs to give these magnificent creatures the protection they desperately need to survive — and legally deserve.”

The FWS did not respond to a request for comment.

Federal judges have previously said that global warming impacts are a legitimate-enough threat to warrant Endangered Species Act protections. One such decision involved the bearded seal in 2016, and another one just last month concerned ringed seals.

Tags Endangered species Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific walrus

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