On February 4, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a proposed rule to designate the U.S. populations of the wolverine, known as the “mountain devil,” as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. A key factor leading to the proposed listing is the loss of habitat due to climate change; however, the USFWS is only proposing prohibitions on trapping and killing the animals, not the regulation of activitiesthat may berelatedto climate change.
The wolverine is a ferocious and tenacious predator. Once found in the Sierra Nevada range in California, the population is believed to have been extirpated in the early 1900’s as part of a widespread pest eradication campaign. The USFWS is not proposing the designation of critical habitat at this time, but it is looking at restoring populations within the historic range of the animal, including the Sierra Nevada range, as a possible option to help the population recover.