US Announces New Protections for Wolverines as Threatened Species

Gulo gulo or wolverine

The glutton (Gulo gulo or wolverine), a discreet yet incredibly powerful small mammal, has finally achieved protected status in the 48 contiguous states of the United States. Wildlife protection associations have advocated for this measure since the 1990s, and it took more than 30 years to succeed in the endeavor. Meanwhile, the population of this animal has continued to decline, with only 300 individuals remaining in the entire country, primarily in Montana.

This mammal has garnered a negative reputation: muscular, agile, and sometimes ferocious, it has often been deemed “fit for elimination” by hunters and inhabitants of mountainous areas.

Belonging to the mustelid family (like badgers), the wolverine is the sole representative of the Gulo genus. Weighing around twenty kilograms, it has earned the moniker “devil of the mountains.” Its strength and courage enable it to occasionally tackle prey weighing up to 10 times its own weight, such as deer, easily intimidating bears, and wolves.

However, for several decades, this creature, which thrives in polar temperatures, has suffered from rising temperatures associated with climate change and the fragmentation of its habitat due to urbanization, roads, fences, and other railway tracks.