Provide for the scientific and conservation initiatives required to preserve the vanishing habitat of the Bearded Seal, a keystone species necessary for a thriving Arctic ecosystem.
A keystone species is a critical member of an ecosystem, providing homeostasis for other plants and animals in the community. If a keystone species ceases to exist, the entire ecosystem will change drastically and negatively.
The bearded seal is at risk of extinction, particularly in the Bering Sea. They are victims of commercial overfishing, oil and gas interests, unsustainable hunting practices, and global climate change. Climate change is the most devastating threat, as increasing temperatures melt the ice floes that bearded seals need to survive. Seals depend upon the seasonal floes to give birth to their pups: without them, the critical next generation cannot come into existence.
Conserving the habitat of this keystone species not only protects these endangered creatures, but also ensures a thriving and healthy Arctic ecosystem.
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