Federal wildlife officials on Friday will propose Endangered Species Act protections for the rare animal in the lower 48 states — a step twice denied under the Bush administration.
The Associated Press obtained details of the proposal in advance of Friday’s announcement.
The wolverine joins the polar bear, three seal species and several other animals that government scientists say are threatened with extinction as warmer temperatures shrink their habitats.
There are an estimated 250 to 300 wolverines in the contiguous U.S. — in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington.
Officials say reintroducing the animals to Colorado could make them more resilient.
Environmentalists want to use the wolverine’s plight to leverage tighter restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.