BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The North American wolverine will receive long-delayed threatened species protections under a Biden administration proposal.

Wednesday’s determination that the species is threatened with extinction follows years of scientists warning that climate change will likely melt away the elusive species’ snowy mountain refuges.

Wolverines were wiped out across most of the U.S. by the early 1900s from unregulated trapping and poisoning campaigns. About 300 surviving animals in the contiguous U.S. live in fragmented, isolated groups at high elevations in the Northern Rockies.

A federal judge in 2022 had ordered the Biden administration to make a final decision on whether to seek protections that were rejected under former President Donald Trump.

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