The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says wolverines need to be protected under the Endangered Species Act because warming temperatures are shrinking their habitat.
These hardy members of the weasel family thrive in high elevations and deep snow, where they dig dens to raise their young.
In the past 50 years or so, wolverine populations have begun to recover from heavy trapping and poisoning in the early 1900s.
Shawn Sartorius is the lead wolverine biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "This is one of the few cases where things are looking pretty rosy right now but the future scenario is one that doesn’t look good."
If the recommendation goes forward, the wolverine will join the polar bear and several types of seals for protection under the Endangered Species Act because of threats from climate change.
Wildlife managers believe there are around 300 wolverines left in the lower 48 states.