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The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has announced the designation of the North American Wolverine as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), citing climate change as a key threat.
This decision, revealed in a recent press release, marks a significant change in the conservation status of the species found in the Northern Rocky Mountains and North Cascade Mountains in the Western US.
FWS Pacific Regional Director Hugh Morrison emphasized the urgency of this action, stating, “Current and increasing impacts of climate change and associated habitat degradation and fragmentation are imperiling the North American wolverine.” Morrison added that this move, grounded in scientific evidence, aims to mitigate long-term impacts and improve the species’ viability in the contiguous United States.
The protection of the North American Wolverine has been a contentious issue. In 2020, the FWS under the Trump administration concluded that the species did not warrant listing as endangered or threatened. However, this decision was later overturned by the District Court of Montana, necessitating a reevaluation of the Wolverine’s status under the ESA.
FWS Director Martha Williams expressed the agency’s commitment to wildlife conservation, stating, “These proposed revisions reaffirm our commitment to conserving America’s wildlife and ensuring the Endangered Species Act works for both species and people.”