Wildlife groups sue for wolverine protections
(AP)—A coalition of advocacy groups has filed a lawsuit challenging the government's decision to deny federal protections for the snow-loving wolverine.
Monday's lawsuit says U.S. wildlife officials ignored the best available science when they ruled that the effects of climate change on wolverine survival were uncertain.
The government's August decision reversed prior findings from federal biologists and outside experts who said less mountain snow in coming decades will threaten the animal.
An estimated 300 wolverines survive in the Lower 48 states. Larger populations are found in Canada and Alaska.
The rarely seen members of the weasel family are known for their ferocity. They den in deep mountain snow fields.
The lawsuit names as defendants the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, agency director Dan Ashe and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
Interior spokeswoman Jessica Kershaw says the agency doesn't comment on pending litigation.
© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.