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Environmentalists Unhappy with Wolverine Protections

flickr.com, Scott Calleja

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Environmentalists are expressing disappointment that federal efforts to protect the wolverine won’t include the regulation of greenhouse gases. Federal wildlife officials Friday proposed Endangered Species Act protections for the wolverine in the Lower 48 states, where the snow-loving carnivores could see their habitats shrink drastically due to warming temperatures. Noah Greenwald from the Center for Biological Diversity says the administration “should not be exempting greenhouse gas emissions from the Endangered Species Act.”

The protection is likely to mean an end to trapping the animals for their fur. Officials say it won’t, however, mean the curtailment of snowmobiling and skiing, infrastructure development and transportation corridors. There are an estimated 250 to 300 wolverines in the contiguous U.S., primarily in the Northern Rockies of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington. Larger populations persist in Alaska and Canada. Friday’s proposal would allow Colorado’s wildlife agency to reintroduce an experimental population of wolverines.

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