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Judge Rules Feds Improperly Denied ESA Protection For Wolverines

Andrew Gainer (CC-BY-NC-2)
In Montana, wolverines reside mostly within the Crown of the Continent ecosystem.

A federal judge has ruled that the Obama administration brushed over the threat of climate change when it failed to list wolverines as an endangered species. The decision could impact other dwindling species.

Members of the weasel family, wolverines rely on deep snow for survival.

Two years ago the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the consequences of climate change are too uncertain to justify additional protections for the wolverine.

Environmentalists sued, saying the best available science found the wolverine extremely vulnerable to climate change.

Matthew Bishop with Western Environmental Law Center in Helena, Montana welcomes the ruling.

"I think it’s an extremely important decision not just for wolverine, but just for how the agency is going to move forward with a number of other species that are likely threatened by climate change."

The judge’s decision doesn’t require the Fish and Wildlife Service to list wolverines as endangered, only to reconsider it.

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