Endangered Species Coalition Applauds Passage of Wolverine Restoration Bill

For Immediate Release: May 3, 2024
Contact: Ryan Sedgeley, [email protected] (307) 220-6084
Derek Goldman, [email protected], (406) 370-6491

Reintroduction of this Threatened Species is a Historic Step for Wildlife Conservation

Denver, Colo.–Today the Colorado General Assembly gave final approval to a bill to restore wolverines to the mountains of Colorado. SB24-171 directs the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife to reintroduce the threatened North American wolverine to suitable habitat within the state.

“With the passage of SB24-171, we celebrate another historic victory for wildlife conservation in Colorado and another step towards healing our relationship with the lands that we inhabit,” said Ryan Sedgeley, Colorado Representative for the Endangered Species Coalition. This step complements Canada lynx reintroduction in the 1990s and the more recent gray wolf reintroduction in December 2023, and it puts Colorado at the cutting edge of wildlife restoration.” 

The wolverine is a newly-protected species under the Endangered Species Act, having just been listed in November 2023. Living high in the alpine, they traditionally ranged from Alaska’s arctic to Colorado, Utah, California, and the Upper Midwest. Today, there are only about 300 in the lower 48 states.  These tenacious and impressive animals require a deep snowpack that lasts late into spring and summer for successful reproduction. According to the text of the bill, Colorado has some of the best remaining habitat like this in the lower 48 states. 

Wolverines are largely scavengers that eat carrion. When this is not available they are capable hunters that have been observed to kill and eat animals many times larger than themselves such as deer. 

The wolverine became threatened due to habitat fragmentation and efforts to extirpate it in the early to mid-20th century. This new law will give this species the chance to continue to thrive in a world rapidly changing from global warming. 

“We thank the sponsors and look forward to working with Colorado Parks and Wildlife as they develop a plan to implement restoration of this incredible animal, which in many ways is emblematic of Colorado’s iconic wild mountainous country,” said Sedgeley.  


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