Federal authorities may list a species as “threatened” based on climate models that show habitat loss in the coming decades, an appeals court decided Monday.
The state of Alaska, oil company groups and Alaskan natives had challenged a decision by the federal government to list a sea ice seal subspecies as threatened and deserving of protection.
The challengers maintained the subspecies’ population was currently healthy and the climate projections were speculative.
A three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. The ruling would allow government protection of all sorts of...