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Judge orders USFWS to study ESA protections for wolverines

A federal judge in Montana has ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider protecting the wolverine under the Endangered Species Act, ruling that the agency committed "serious errors" that undermined its 2020 decision not to extend those protections.

It was back in October 2020 that Fish and Wildlife officials declined to extend threatened status under the ESA to the small but fierce carnivore, saying wolverine populations were doing fine. Part of that decision was based on a 2018 "Species Status Assessment" that noted that "wolverine appears resilient within its contiguous United States range." The assessment pegged the wolverine population in the country at 318, with potential habitat to support 644 individuals. Canada, meanwhile, claims thousands of wolverines, according to the assessment.

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