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US sets deadline for wolverines protection decision

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MGN Online

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - U.S. wildlife officials have agreed to decide by the end of August whether climate change and other threats are pushing the rare wolverine closer to extinction in the mountains of the West.

Government attorneys and conservation groups that had sued to force a decision filed court documents Thursday settling the lawsuit and agreeing to the deadline.

That came more than four years after a federal judge chastised government officials for rejecting the views of many of its own scientists when it decided against protecting wolverines in 2014.

The predatory animals are members of the weasel family and also known as "mountain devils" or "skunk bears." They need deep snows to den and scientists warn such habitat could shrink as the Earth heats up.

The famously fierce predators were once found throughout the Rocky Mountains and in California's Sierra Nevada mountains. Unregulated trapping and poisoning campaigns killed them off across most of their U.S. range almost a century ago.

The dispute over whether protections are needed involves an estimated 250 to 300 of the animals that live in remote areas of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon and Washington state.

Populations also survive in Canada and Alaska, and individual wolverines have moved into Colorado and California.

News / Regional News / Top Stories

Associated Press

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1 Comment

  1. They used to be plentiful in MI but mankind pushed them to extinction in that state and that is what’s happening on other states. Not necessarily due to climate change but due to their habitat is being taken over by houses, roads, etc.

    Heck Univ of MI sports are known as the Wolverines cause they were plentiful in the state when the univ was first opened. Now….zero….however, there are reports even now and then of a wolverine wondering the countryside, but usually it is found to be one of the univ’s football players lost after a drinking binge.

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