ribbonseal Is the ribbon seal threatened by global warming or not?In the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA) have decided to investigate if the ribbon seal should be protected by law, according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. NOAA will also investigate the situation for three other species of ice seal: the bearded seal, the spotted seal and the ringed seal. The decision is a response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, a San Francisco based environmental group. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the sea ice in the Bering and Okhotsk Seas off Alaska and Russia where the ribbon seals spend the winter season is threatened by global warming.

You can read more about this in the San Francisco Chronicle

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/03/27/BAC0VR2CK.DTL

The ribbon seal (Histriophoca fasciata) inhabits the Arctic parts of the Pacific Ocean and almost never come to land; it spends most of its life in the ocean and on sea ice. During winter and early spring, it lives on the pack ice of the Bering and Okhotsk Seas where it molts (sheds) and breed. When the summer comes, the ribbon seals head for the open water and stay there until next winter. Young ribbon seals are hunted for their fur, but efficient hunting is difficult since this species does not live in herds. For most hunters, the herd living Harp seal is a much more convenient target. In 1969, the Soviet Union limited the hunt on Ribbon seals and this has also had a significant positive impact on the populations.