Alaska to challenge protections for beluga whales
The US state of Alaska is planning to launch a legal challenge against new federal regulations to protect threatened beluga whales in Cook Inlet.
The white whales were listed as endangered last year after federal scientists warned they were headed towards extinction.
The listing requires the designation of critical habitat for the animals, as well as the drafting of a recovery plan and a review of activities in Cook Inlet.
However, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin wants the listing removed because of the impact it could have on oil and gas projects, as well as the expansion of Anchorage port.
The Centre for Biological Diversity is accusing Ms Palin of being willing to sacrifice the whales for the sake of the oil industry.