Wolverine May Be Protected Under Endangered Species Act
Wolverines live in cold places that are resource-scarce.
Credit: Mark Packila, WCS

The first thing that popped up when I Googled "Wolverine" was an announcement about a preview for Hugh Jackman's new movie The Wolverine, alerting me to the fact that the actor appears shirtless in said video. Almost all the other results were along the same lines. While I don't disparage Hugh Jackman or washboard abs, it's a little disconcerting that the actual animal behind the comic book movie isn't getting more attention, considering it is in dire straits, scientists say.

Currently, fewer than 300 wolverines reside in the continental United States, according to various estimates. In February, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the animal as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act, which would help protect the animal and its dwindling habitat. A total of 25 environmental groups from the West have called on the agency to go through with this decision, which will come soon after the agency's deadline for accepting public comments on the proposed decision on May 6, according to The Spokesman Review.

The wolverine is the rarest carnivore in the United States and was called the "skunk bear" by the Blackfeet Indians, according to Defenders of Wildlife. Adult males weigh 26 to 40 pounds (12 to 18 kilograms) and are the largest terrestrial member of the weasel family.

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