Feds review endangered status of wolverines | SummitDaily.com

Feds review endangered status of wolverines

DENVER ” The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday launched a court-ordered review of whether the wolverine should be classified as endangered.

The review follows at least two petitions by environmental groups asking the agency to consider listing the animal as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Fish and Wildlife rejected the petitions, saying they didn’t present enough information indicating that the wolverine should be federally protected.

Environmentalists, Defenders of Wildlife, and other groups filed a complaint in 2005 claiming Fish and Wildlife used the wrong standards to assess the petition. A federal court in Montana ruled this year that the agency’s finding was in error and ordered a review of the wolverine by Feb. 28.

The agency will take public comments through Aug. 6.

“The service will evaluate all existing and new information to determine whether impacts to the wolverine warrant a listing proposal,” said Mitch King, director of the regional Fish and Wildlife Service office in Lakewood.

The wolverine, the largest land species of the weasel family, has thick brown fur with lighter brown or blonde fur along its sides. Adults are about the same size as a medium dog, weighing 17 to 40 pounds. They have large feet for crossing snow and strong jaws so it can feed on frozen carrion and bones.

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