The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have decided on Thursday, to avoid listing West Coast fishers as threatened species, which means that federal agencies will not take the fisher into consideration for the “endangered” status, even though it was estimated that there are 300 wolverines remaining in the lower 48 states.
West Coast fishers reached an alarming rate in 2014, making the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to propose the species to be listed under the Endangered Species Act with the status of “threatened,” since the animals were terribly affected by pesticide use and logging, and also threatened with extinction by global climate change.
However, the federal agency reconsidered its opinion this year and has stated that the risks the West Coast fishers seem to be facing are not so high as to threaten its number. As a result, the species will have to survive without the protections offered by the Endangered Species Act.
“We arrived at our decision following a comprehensive evaluation of the science and after a thorough review of public input. The best available science shows current threats are not causing significant declines to the West Coast populations of fisher and that listing is not necessary at this time to guarantee survival,” said the Pacific Southwest Region service director, Ren Lohoefener.
Montana Federal District Court Judge Dana Christensen issued the order to reverse the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to not list the wolverine on the Endangered Species List.
Nonetheless, several organizations disagree with this decision. The Center for Biological Diversity has said that this change of mind was due to a political manipulation and adding that science had nothing to do with it. Montana’s Gov. Steve Bullock, as well as his Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, worked their way to prevent the listing of these animals and then hailed it as a great achievement.
According to the organization, there are only 300 fishers left in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and a group that has between 250 and a few thousand animals in Northern California and southern Oregon.
Due to global warming and climate change, which is bringing higher temperatures and shorter winters to the Rocky Mountains, the available habitat for wolverines (snowpack) is shrinking to the point where two-thirds of this habitat could disappear entirely by 2085, according to the projections.
Source: LA Times