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Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the North American Wolverine as Endangered or Threatened

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the North American wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After review of all available scientific and commercial information, we find that the North American wolverine occurring in the contiguous United States is a distinct population segment (DPS) and that addition of this DPS to the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants is warranted.

Currently, however, listing the contiguous U.S. DPS of the North American wolverine is precluded by higher priority actions to amend the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Upon publication of this 12-month petition finding, we will add the contiguous U.S. DPS of the wolverine to our candidate species list.

We consider the current range of the species to include portions of the States of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, and California. However, due to the dispersal abilities of individual wolverines, we expect that wolverines are likely to travel outside the currently occupied area. We will develop a proposed rule to list this DPS as our priorities allow (see section on Preclusion and Expeditious Progress). We will make any determination on critical habitat during development of the proposed listing rule. In the interim, we will address the status of this DPS through our annual Candidate Notice of Review.

DATES: This finding was made on December 14, 2010.

Click here to read the complete Federal Register Notice.

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