Today, Judge Dana Christensen overturned the 2014 USFWS decision not to list wolverines, ruling that decision “arbitrary and capricious,” and ordering the USFWS to issue a new decision. The judge’s ruling states that the USFWS failed to adequately consider the effects of both climate change and genetic isolation on the wolverine population in the US Rockies, and that the Service discounted the best available science in reaching the decision not to list.
What does this mean for the status of wolverines in the US? The listing decision has been sent back to the USFWS, and they must issue a new decision. The timeline for this is not yet clear.
The full text of the decision is available here: 16-04-04 Doc. 108 ORDER
For those who are interested in the wolverine policy process and the debate about the science, it’s worth reading through the entire document. Check it out, and enjoy.