U.S. refuses protection for endangered wolverines

Eideard

U.S. wildlife managers…have denied federal protections for rare wolverines, outraging conservationists but pleasing Western states that opposed adding the reclusive but feisty member of the weasel family to the endangered and threatened species list.

Last year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed applying Endangered Species Act safeguards for the estimated 300 wolverines left in the Lower 48 states, most of which inhabit the high country of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

The service had said global warming was reducing mountain snows the animals use to dig dens and store food.

But on Tuesday federal wildlife managers said there was “insufficient evidence” that climate change would harm wolverines, which resemble small bears with bushy tails and which are known for their ferocious defense of their young…

The decision was welcomed in states such as Montana, which will determine next year whether to reinstate a limited wolverine trapping season that was suspended…

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