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Find out more from the Center for Biological Diversity:
Carnivore Conservation

Public News Service - WY, July 9, 2008

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: WYO Wolverines May be Doomed
By Deborah Smith/Steve Powers

Casper, WY – The wolverine's fighting reputation may soon be headed to court. A notice has been filed that a lawsuit is on the way unless the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists the wolverine under the Endangered Species Act. The agency opted not to list the animal, even after issuing a report that said if nothing is done, wolverines in the United States are at risk of extinction. The report noted that since there are healthy populations in Canada, nothing needs to be done for them in this country. Noah Greenwald with the Center for Biological Diversity says that reasoning violates the law.

"If the Bush administration had been in charge in the past, the bald eagle would never have been protected, because there were certainly plenty of them in Canada and Alaska."

Greenwald says an estimated total of 500 wolverines live south of the Canadian border, most in western Wyoming, eastern Idaho or northern Washington. Wolverine populations have been depleted by trapping and habitat loss, he warns, and the animals are especially sensitive to climate change because they thrive in regions with deep-snow winters.

Greenwald says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also recently refused to create a recovery plan for the jaguar, based on the reasoning that some populations remain viable in Mexico.

"There are several other species that they've done this with recently, like the Montana fluvial arctic grayling and the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl."

Earthjustice has filed a 60-day notice to sue on behalf of 10 groups, including the Wyoming Outdoor Council and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

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Photo © Paul S. Hamilton