ESA Status: Delisted and Removed from List
The North American wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) is a medium-sized, solitary carnivore adapted for digging, climbing, and traveling long distances in deep snow during the winter. Since the wolverine is a highly elusive creature, the 2018 Species Status Assessment (SSA) mapped the current potential extent of occurrence for the North American wolverine spanning through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, and Canada. As mentioned in the SSA, the wolverine occupies a variety of habitats including Arctic tundra, subarctic-alpine tundra, boreal forest, mixed forest, redwood forest, and coniferous forest.
The wolverine was first petitioned to be listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1995, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) completed a 90-Day Finding of no warranted action in response to the petition. Despite completing 90-Day and 12-Month Findings in response to the multiple petitions the USFWS has received since then, the wolverine still has not been officially ESA listed. In 2013, the USFWS proposed to designate a Distinct Population Segment of the North American wolverine contiguous United States population and list the DPS as Threatened. The Proposed Listing was withdrawn in 2014 because the factors and threats identified in the Proposed Listing were not as significant as originally believed at the time of the proposed rule. After receiving more petitions and public comments, the USFWS reopened the ruling and initiated a new and comprehensive status review which was finalized as the 2018 SSA. Based on the SSA findings, the Proposed Listing was officially withdrawn in 2020.
Idaho has a vested interest in wolverine conservation and has been proactively involved in research and conservation in the northern Rocky Mountains. OSC will continue to better understand wolverine behavior and advocate for increased local and national coordination.