Defenders in Action: Advocating for Federal Protections
For neraly two decades, Defenders of Wildlife has been pushing the federal government to protect wolverines under the Endangered Species Act.
As a result of historic fur trapping as well as ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation, there are fewer than 300 wolverines remaining in the lower 48 states. Climate change also threatens the snow-covered habitat these animals need to thrive and raise their young. Wolverines need the attention and resources provided by the Endangered Species Act to better ensure a lasting future.
How We’re Helping
Defenders and our colleagues have been fighting for nearly two decades to federally protect wolverines in the lower 48 states, where climate change threatens their future. We filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in 2000 requesting protection for the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and took legal action in 2005 and 2008 when the agency did not move forward to protect the species. In 2010, the USFWS determined that wolverines did in fact warrant protections under the ESA, but the agency was unable to take further action until higher priorities were addressed.
In February 2013, the USFWS finally proposed to protect wolverines in the contiguous U.S. as a threatened species under the ESA.
Where We Are Today
The USFWS will make a final determination whether to list the wolverine as a threatened species under the ESA by early 2014, and Defenders is actively fighting for a listing, recovery plan, and decisive action that will help secure the future of the species in the U.S.