The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has updated its 2018 species status assessment (SSA) for the North American wolverine with an addendum that reflects new information received since 2018, including information from state wildlife agencies.
The analyses contained in the 2018 SSA and the SSA addendum comprise the best available science on the status of the species. The Service will consider the analyses in the 2018 SSA and SSA addendum in preparation for a new final listing determination to be made by the end of November 2023.
This addendum provides an assessment of new information relevant to wolverine biology, ecology, threats, or protections published or recorded since the 2018 SSA. The addendum also includes a revised risk assessment based on an updated evaluation of stressors that may impact the species in the western United States.
In 2013, the Service proposed to list the distinct population segment of wolverine in the contiguous U.S. as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). On October 13, 2020, the Service withdrew the proposed listing rule. That decision was challenged, and in 2022, the District Court for the District of Montana vacated the 2020 withdrawal of the proposed listing rule and remanded the matter to the Service for reevaluation. The remand placed the wolverine back on the candidate list of species proposed for listing under the ESA.
In November 2022, the Service solicited new information from experts, scientists, managers, Tribes, stakeholders, and the public on North American wolverines and their conservation status in the contiguous U.S. After an extensive literature review and evaluation of new information received since the 2018 SSA, the Service completed an addendum to the original SSA, received peer and technical review on the addendum, and finalized the addendum after addressing peer and technical review input. The final SSA addendum is available here: https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp/species/5123 under the Species Status Assessments section, or at https://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R6–ES–2012–0107.
The North American wolverine is a medium-sized carnivore found within the Northern Rocky Mountains and North Cascade Mountains in the contiguous United States, as well as in the alpine regions, boreal forests, and tundra of Alaska and Canada. Wolverines are snow adapted, cold climate animals that are territorial and have large home ranges.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit https://www.fws.gov/about/region/pacific.