Court Ruling Reopens Comment Period on North American Wolverine Proposed Listing Rule

Wolverine walking through the snow. Credit: Steve Kroschel.
Wolverine walking through the snow. Credit: Steve Kroschel.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is reopening the public comment period on a proposed rule to list the North American wolverine as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The FWS had proposed to list the North American wolverine, which is a Distinct Population Segment of wolverines found in the lower 48 states, but withdrew its proposal in 2014 after concluding that the factors affecting it were not as significant as were once thought. However, the District Court for the District of Montana overturned FWS’s withdrawal, effectively returning the wolverine population to the point at which it was proposed for listing as threatened.

A threatened listing would mean this wolverine population is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

FWS has considered the North American wolverine as proposed for listing since the April court decision. This Federal Register Notice is an administrative step to implement the court ruling.

FWS will be starting a new review on the wolverine population to determine whether it meets the definition of a threatened or endangered species, or if the animal is warranted for listing at all. Any decision on whether to list or not list the wolverine under the Endangered Species Act will be based on the best scientific and commercial information available.  We anticipate new climate change information will assist us in this decision.

The Service is asking for any scientific or commercial information on the North American wolverine population during the 30-day public comment period that closes November 17, 2016.

The proposed 2013 listing rule is available online at

To submit comments on, search for Docket Number FWS–R6–ES–2016–0106, and click on “Comment Now!”   Or, you can mail comments to:

Public Comments Processing
Attn: Docket No. FWS–R6–ES–2016–0106
US Fish & Wildlife, MS: BPHC
5275 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church  VA  22041-3803

US FWS will post all information received on, including any personal information provided.

Wolverines look like a small bear with a bushy tail, and each of its five toes is armed with curved, semi-retractile claws. In the lower 48 states, they live in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rocky Mountains, with occasional sightings in Colorado, California, and Nevada. Learn more at


Source: US Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver, Colorado.

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Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.