Conservation groups to sue over wolverine decision (Update)

August 13, 2014
This undated photo provided by Defenders Of Wildlife shows a wolverine that had been tagged for research purposes in Glacier National Park, Mont. Federal officials will announce Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 that wolverines do not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act in a finding that underscores the difficulties of using climate models to predict what could happen to a species decades from now. (AP Photo/Defenders of Wildlife, Ken Curtis)

Two coalitions of advocacy groups have filed notices that they intend to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its withdrawal of proposed protections for the wolverine.

The federal agency reversed course Tuesday and said it does not consider climate change a threat to the long-term survival of the members of the weasel family.

Wolverines need deep, late-season snow to den, and wildlife officials last year proposed increased protections to keep the animals from extinction.

But Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe says predictions about the localized effects of climate change are uncertain.

The notices filed Wednesday by Earthjustice and the Western Environmental Law Center give officials 60 days to reconsider.

Earthjustice attorney Adrienne Maxwell says the government is ignoring evidence that warmer temperatures will reduce wolverine habitat.

Explore further: US to reconsider species protection for wolverines

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