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May 2, 2024

Bill to Reintroduce Wolverines in Colorado Advances House

DENVER, CO – The House today passed legislation on a preliminary vote that would authorize Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) to reintroduce wolverines and strengthen Colorado’s biodiversity. 

“Aiding in the restoration of wolverines in Colorado is a win-win for our state’s biodiversity and   this threatened species,” said Rep. Barbara Mclachlan, D-Durango. “This reintroduction is backed by biologists alongside a broad coalition of stakeholders and has been deliberated upon for years to effectively and safely bring wolverines back to Colorado. Our beautiful state provides the ideal mountainous habitat for wolverines, who live in solidarity and are built to withstand our cold, snowy winters.”

“Wolverines were a part of our state’s natural ecosystem for generations, this bill would responsibly and thoughtfully reintroduce them into the mountainous landscapes in Colorado they once called home,” said Rep. Tisha Mauro, D-Pueblo. “Adapted for scavenging and surviving cold, alpine temperatures, wolverines would strengthen our state’s biodiversity. This reintroduction effort is years in the making with CPW leaders, including my Dad, John Singletary, working to ensure the wolverine reintroduction would be science-based and what’s best for our state’s ecosystem.” 

SB24-171 would authorize the reintroduction of wolverines in Colorado. Wolverines are the largest terrestrial species of weasel in the world and live solitary lives in high alpine, mountainous regions. Colorado’s geography offers some of the best remaining habitat for wolverines in the United States. Wolverines were listed as “threatened” in 2023 under the Endangered Species Act. 

The bill would also require CPW to create rules around reintroduction and to create a robust public communications plan. Reintroduction would be contingent on the federal government designating wolverines as a “nonessential experimental population” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.

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