Action timeline

October 4, 2007 – The Center filed a lawsuit against the Service over its failure to update stock assessments for Pacific walruses and other marine mammals.

August 15, 2007 – In response to a lawsuit by the Center, the courts blocked Shell Oil's plans to drill in the Beaufort Sea.

July 2, 2007 – The Center filed a lawsuit challenging nationwide offshore oil plans that would open up the Chukchi, Beaufort, and Bering seas to oil development.

February 13, 2007 – The Center and Pacific Environment filed a lawsuit challenging Fish and Wildlife Service regulations allowing harm to Pacific walruses through oil and gas activities in the Beaufort Sea.

January 31, 2008 – The Center filed a lawsuit challenging an oil lease sale in prime Pacific walrus habitat in the Chukchi Sea.

February 7, 2008 – The Center filed a petition seeking Endangered Species Act protection for the Pacific walrus.

May 27, 2008 – The Center filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to respond to our petition to list the species under the Endangered Species Act.

December 3, 2008 – The Center filed suit against the Fish and Wildlife Service and Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne for ignoring our petition to protect the Pacific walrus under the Endangered Species Act.

May 18, 2009 – A federal judge approved a settlement between the Center and the Service compelling the agency to consider whether the Pacific walrus may warrant Endangered Species Act protections. The settlement compelled the Service to make an initial finding on the Center's listing petition by September 10, 2010, with a final decision on protections due the following year.

June 18, 2009 – Responding to a court-ordered deadline (resulting from the Center's October 2007 case), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released long-overdue reports confirming the population declines of polar bears and Pacific walruses in Alaska.

September 8, 2009 – The Service announced it was launching a full status review to determine whether the Pacific walrus warrants Endangered Species Act protections.

February 8, 2011 – The Service announced that listing the Pacific walrus was “warranted but precluded,” declaring the walrus deserving of protection but delaying that protection indefinitely by putting the mammal on the “candidate list.”

April 21, 2011 – The Center formally notified the Service of our intent to sue the agency for failing to protect the Pacific walrus under the Endangered Species Act, despite finding that the walrus is threatened with extinction because of climate change.

October 4, 2017 – The Trump administration denied Endangered Species Act protection to the Pacific walrus, reversing an Obama administration decision that the walrus deserves protection because of the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice.

October 12, 2017 – The Center filed a formal notice of intent to sue the Trump administration for denying the Pacific walrus protection under the Endangered Species Act.

PPhoto courtesy USFWS/Joel Garlich-Miller