Wolverine listed as threatened in Lower 48

Nov 30, 2023

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that the wolverine will be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the Lower 48. Threatened species are those that are likely to become endangered if measures to recover the populations are not taken.

This decision has been years in the making. Environmental groups have been fighting for wolverine protections since 2013, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the species as threatened under the ESA. Now, a decade later, the elusive animal—which can, and will, consume just about anything from rabbits to porcupines to moose—will receive federal protections.

Human-driven climate change has led to the species’ decline, with the most recent estimates noting a population of around 300 in the Lower 48. Wolverines rely on deep snow through the late spring to build dens, but in recent decades, snowpack has been decreasing. The species used to roam from the northern United States to New Mexico, but now they exist only in small populations in the Rocky and Cascade mountains.

“The science is clear: snowpack-dependent species like the wolverine are facing an increasingly uncertain future under a warming climate,” Michael Saul, Defenders of Wildlife Rockies and plains program director, told National Parks Traveler. “Now it’s time to support the species’ future by bringing them back to the mountains of Colorado as well.”

Quick hits

North American wolverine gains federal protection under Endangered Species Act

Washington Post | New York Times | National Parks Traveler | Jackson Hole Radio | E&E News

Bipartisan bill aims to foster recreation on public lands

Roll Call

Cody, Wyoming residents call auction of Grand Teton park land the ‘worst decision’ ever

Cowboy State Daily

Timber harvests climb in national forests

E&E News

Tensions are bubbling up at thirsty Arizona alfalfa farms as foreign firms exploit unregulated water

Associated Press

Mountain West region to receive millions more from the Interior department for water projects

Mountain West News Bureau

Air pollution from oil and gas worsening in New Mexico as industry grows, study says

Carlsbad Current-Argus

Opinion: Next Thanksgiving, Smokey Bear should talk about climate change

Los Angeles Times

Quote of the day

I feel like the soul of Wyoming is up for sale.”

—Ann Young, a Cody, Wyoming resident, in regard to the proposed auction of the Kelly Parcel in Wyoming. Cowboy State Daily

 

Picture This

spotify wrapped elk bugling
@COParksWildlife

Our 2023 Spotify wrapped is here!