Alaska Department of Fish and Game
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Under Federal Consideration for Protection
With the loss of sea ice due to climate change, concern has arisen over the survival of ice seals. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) was petitioned to list ribbon seals under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In 2008, upon finding that the petition for ribbon seals had merit, NMFS decided to initiate status reviews for the ribbon seal and the other three species of ice seal, the spotted seal, the ringed seal, and the bearded seal. In December 2010 NMFS proposed to list the bearded seal as a threatened species under the ESA, but that decision has not been finalized.
For general information on bearded seal, see the bearded seal species profile page.