U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service delays decision on wolverine protection

Over at the Missoulian, Rob Chaney posted more information about the delay in extending federal protections to wolverines . . .

Disputes over the science of wolverines has prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take an extra six months of study before it decides whether to put the elusive carnivore on the endangered species list.

The agency already extended its public comment period once through Dec. 2, after receiving conflicting opinions on the reliability of available research earlier this year. Wolverines had been considered “warranted but precluded” from ESA protection until 2012, when FWS decided to make a more thorough review.

“During the six-month extension, we will be formally engaging with experts in the scientific community to further evaluate areas of scientific disagreement and uncertainty as they relate to the wolverine delisting,” the agency said in a written statement Tuesday. “We intend that any final action resulting from these proposals be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible.”

Read more . . .

Note: The instructions in the article for retrieving information about the proposed rule to list wolverines under the Endangered Species Act have minor errors. The best approach seems to be to open the entire “docket folder” and browse the contents.