Outdoors

Idaho adopts wolverine management plan


U.S. Forest Service wildlife biologist Keith Aubry holds a young female wolverine, the first to be captured in a study of the elusive creatures in the Pacific Northwest. 
 (Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife / The Spokesman-Review)
U.S. Forest Service wildlife biologist Keith Aubry holds a young female wolverine, the first to be captured in a study of the elusive creatures in the Pacific Northwest. (Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife / The Spokesman-Review)

THREATENED SPECIES — The Idaho Fish and Game Commission last week unanimously approved the nation's first state management plan for sustaining the largest member of the weasel family.

The Management Plan for the Conservation of Wolverines in Idaho, developed by Idaho Department of Fish and Game, will guide state efforts to conserve and protect the wolverine over the next five years.  Idaho is one of four western states where wolverines live. The others are Montana, Wyoming and Washington.

Wolverines, which grow to about 40 pounds, occupy cold, snowy mountainous regions of the U.S.  In Idaho, the wolverine is classified as a protected nongame animal and Species of Greatest Conservation Need based on low densities and uncertain numbers.

Wolverines in the lower 48 states are currently proposed for listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, in part because of projected loss of snow habitat from climate change.  Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners approved the plan as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials deliberate a final listing decision on wolverines, anticipated in early August.

Fish and Game Commissioner Will Naillon of Challis represents the Salmon Region, a wolverine stronghold in Idaho. He sees the plan benefiting not only wolverines, but a broad spectrum of constituents.

“The development of this plan for wolverines, a protected nongame species, may help to avert a federal listing and subsequent land use restrictions. This plan benefits all land users, including sportsmen and women.” said Naillon.    




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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