VICTORY! ESA Protection for Wolverine

Wolverine are exceedingly rare in the contiguous U.S. (only 250-300 remain), their highly fragmented habitat is shrinking due to climate change, and trapping in their habitat is common. Despite these facts, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service rejected the advice of its own scientists and refused to list the imperiled and iconic animal as threatened under the Endangered Species Act arguably for political reasons.

With our partners, WELC went to court to challenge this bad wildlife management. The court ruled the Service improperly ignored science and violated the Endangered Species Act. The agency reconsidered its decision not to list wolverine under the ESA, but again decided to deny wolverine protections in October 2020.

We sued again and won, with the court immediately reinstating “candidate species” protections for wolverine. In November of 2023, the Service finally followed the science and listed wolverines as threatened with extinction, marking an enormous victory for the animal as well as our coalition of wildlife advocates.

Wolverine photo by Kalon Baughan

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