Sunday, July 29, 2007

The future of the wolverine

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is currently accepting comments on a petition to list the Wolverine as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. The original petition from the year 2000 was denied as the petitioners could not prove the species was endangered as a result of human activity. This is an interesting argument as we know that the wolverine only lives in its natural habitat, and the habitat continues to be destroyed by humans. This is simply a stall tactic by the government. Here are the comments that I sent in:

US Fish and Wildlife Service,

I am writing to express my support for the listing of the wolverine as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.

I believe the science and knowledge of this animal provide sufficient evidence that their numbers and their future are increasingly threatened. Now is the time to act, before it is too late.

The wolverine, as a keystone predator, plays a critical role in the ecosystem in which it lives. This role extends well beyond the direct predator/prey relationship, effecting many animals and plants within the natural environment. Studies have shown that the presence of keystone predators is required to maintain biological diversity. Biological diversity is in turn required for ecosystems to sustain themselves through various stresses - seasonality, drought, and climate change. Diversity itself plays an important role in enabling a species to evolve and survive through these stresses. With the accelerating rate of climate change, it is critical that we maintain as much biological diversity as possible. This means strong protection for all keystone predators.

Thus, it is critical for the wolverine, and all of the other species within their ecosystems, that we not let this critical animal slip into extinction. Please provide them the protection that they deserve under the law.

Thank you.

If you would like to comment, send a brief comment letter or email to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (deadline for comments is August 6, 2007; see below for addresses).

Mail your comments to: Wolverine Status Review, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana Field Office, 585 Shepard Way, Helena, MT 59601 or by e-mail to FW6_wolverine@fws.gov. Please submit electronic comments in an ASCII format or Microsoft Word file and avoid the use of any special characters or any form of encryption. Please include “Attn: wolverine status review” in the subject line of your e-mail message and provide your name and return address.

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