Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Service to Review Status of the Wolverine

Apr 15, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2010
Contacts:  Beth Dickerson 406-449-5225 ext 220
Diane Katzenberger 303-236-4578  
 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Review Status of the Wolverine
Public Comment Period Closes May 17, 2010 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it is initiating a status review of the wolverine to determine whether the species warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).   

The current range of the wolverine includes California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. 

The Service is seeking the latest scientific and commercial information on the status of the wolverine from the public, government agencies, tribes, industry and the scientific and conservation communities. After gathering and analyzing this information, the Service will determine whether to propose adding the wolverine to the federal list of threatened and endangered species. Information will be received until May 17, 2010. 

The Service is seeking specific information concerning:

(1) The taxonomy, biology, genetics, and status of wolverines in the contiguous United States;

(2) Specific information relevant to the consideration of the potential distinct population segment (DPS) of wolverines in the United States.  The DPS policy considers two elements:  whether the population is geographically isolated from other populations and if the population is significant to the survival of the species;

(3) The conservation status of wolverines in the United States;

(4) Specific information regarding threats to the wolverine;

(5) Specific information regarding conservation actions to improve wolverine habitat or decrease threats;

(6) Specific information regarding the potential effect of climate change on wolverines, their habitat, and food sources. 

Data and information will be accepted until May 17, 2010 and can be submitted electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.  Follow the instructions for submitting comments; or mailed or hand delivered to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R6-ES-2008-0029, Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203.  

In March 2008, the Service determined that the wolverine population in the contiguous United States did not constitute a distinct population segment because it is not separated from the wolverine populations in Canada and does not significantly contribute to the Canadian and Alaskan wolverine populations’ ability to maintain their genetic diversity and viability.  The Service also determined that the wolverine population in the contiguous United States did not constitute a significant portion of the range of the subspecies and was therefore not a listable entity.                       

In September 2008 Defenders of Wildlife et al. filed a complaint challenging the Service’s application of the Distinct Population Segment policy and the Endangered Species Act.  On March 23, 2009, the Service settled the lawsuit with the plaintiffs and agreed to submit a new 12-month finding to the Federal Register by December 1, 2010.  

For more information about the wolverine, visit the Service’s web site at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolverine. 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov

 – FWS --