By Paul Homewood
Apparently tonight’s episode concerns itself with walruses, who you guessed) are all going to die because of “melting Arctic ice”.
Below is the part of the programme’s introduction:
Ocean currents move heat around our planet and maintain a climate favourable for life. But our ocean system, in relative equilibrium for millennia, is changing at a worrying rate. Deep in the polar north, we meet walrus mothers and their newborn calves, searching for an ice floe to rest on. But with rising temperatures, summer sea ice is retreating – their battles to survive are becoming ever harder. As we begin to understand the true complexity of the lives of our ocean creatures, so do we recognise the fragility of their home.
It’s a pity the doddering old idiot, David Attenborough, could not be bothered to check the facts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who issued this press release earlier this month (my bold):
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has found that the Pacific walrus does not require protection as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The finding follows a comprehensive review and analysis of the best available scientific information concerning the species, as well as local and traditional ecological knowledge of Alaska Native peoples.
The Pacific walrus is found throughout the continental shelf waters of the Bering and Chukchi seas and occasionally in the East Siberian Sea and Beaufort Sea. In its review, the Service paid particular attention to the impact to the species of the ongoing loss of sea ice in the walrus’s range.
While walruses use sea ice for a variety of activities, including breeding, birthing, resting and avoiding predators, they have shown an ability to adapt to sea ice loss that was not foreseen when the Service last assessed the species in 2011. Given these behavioral changes, the Service determined that it could not predict, with confidence, future behavioral responses of the species beyond 2060. Accordingly, that date was used as the limit for determining whether the walrus was likely to become endangered within the “foreseeable future,” under the ESA. Beyond that time, predicting behavioral responses becomes too speculative to be considered best available science for the purposes of a listing determination.
“Our decision not to list the Pacific walrus under the Endangered Species Act at this time is based on a rigorous evaluation of the best available science, which indicates the population appears stable, and the species has demonstrated an ability to adapt to changing conditions,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan. “If future circumstances warrant or new information comes to light, we can and will re-evaluate the Pacific walrus for ESA protection. In the meantime, the species will continue to be federally protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.”
Other stressors that were identified in 2011, including subsistence harvest, have declined. The Pacific walrus population appears to be approaching stability with reproductive and survival rates that are higher than in the 1970s–1980s.
The Pacific walrus will continue to receive protection in the U.S. under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Protections afforded under the MMPA include prohibitions on the harvest, import, and export of the Pacific walrus or walrus products, except by Alaska Natives for subsistence and handicraft creation and sale. In addition to monitoring the population, the Service will continue to work with the State of Alaska, coastal communities and other partners to conserve the Pacific walrus population and minimize the impacts of stressors where possible.
The decision today is the Service’s final action regarding a petition submitted to the agency in 2008 to list the Pacific walrus.
So far from declining, the Pacific walrus population is stable and doing better than it was in the 1970s and 80s, when Arctic sea ice was more extensive.
This episode must mark a new low in the reputation of the BBC.
via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
October 29, 2017 at 05:33PM