Wolverines might be in some serious danger if the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) gets their way.
The agency is backtracking on a previous conclusion that the wolverine should be considered an endangered species due to climate change and is looking to remove it from the list of protected creatures.
“Due to the uncertainty of climate models, I cannot accept the conclusion about wolverine habitat loss that forms the basis of our recommendation to list the species,” wrote FWS Regional Director Noreen Walsh in a leaked memo obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD).
Walsh also retracted her previous conclusions that warming temperatures would jeopardize the animal’s snowy high-elevation habitats saying they were just “speculation.”
According to CBD’s endangered species director, Noah Greenwald, this recent development is not about scientific facts but politics.
“The decision to overrule agency scientists and deny protection to the wolverine is deeply disappointing and shows that political interference in what should be a scientific decision continues to be a problem under the Obama administration, just as it was under George W. Bush,” Greenwald said. “Wolverines and the winter habitats they depend on are severely threatened by our warming world. Only serious action to reduce fossil fuels can save the wolverine, tens of thousands of other species, and our very way of life.”
Whatever the true reason behind it, the FWS has stated that with an already stretched out budget, it doesn’t make sense to allocate funds to protect the wolverine if it might not even be in danger of extinction.
The 300 wolverines left in the lower 48 states are not alone when it comes to not being supported by the FWS. The agency already faces several lawsuits for not protecting species in the past and currently disagrees with the CBD on whether the manatee should be considered an endangered species.
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