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Wyoming Wolverines Make “Top Ten” List

December 29, 2008

Casper, WY – A "top ten" listing for Wyoming's wolverines. They're listed as one of the ten critters most in need of Endangered Species Act protection, according to the Endangered Species Coalition.

Derek Goldman is the group's Northern Rockies field representative. He explains that the wolverine needs a solid spring snow pack to successfully raise the next generation.

"With the changing climate, one of the things we're seeing is an earlier melt-off of that spring snowpack. And it's disappearing, in some cases, before the kits are actually ready to leave the den."

Goldman says spring snow caves keep the kits warm and away from predators. The wolverine was denied ESA status in 2007, despite government scientist recommendations it be listed.

The report notes that President Bush is leaving a new record on the books when it comes to dwindling populations of plants, animals and fish.

"He's the only president in the history of the Endangered Species Act to have not protected a single species except in response to petitions, or lawsuits filed by scientists and citizens' groups."

Those opposed to listing species say the protections don't work and are too expensive. Goldman points to the American bald eagle as an example of how the Act can be successful when fully funded. Other species on the "top ten" include Colorado's Gunnison sage grouse, the great white shark and the wood turtle.

The full list, including runners up to the "top ten," is at www.stopextinction.org.

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY