By Timothy Cama - 08/12/14 03:01 PM EDT
The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) decided Tuesday against designating the wolverine as a threatened species.
The agency last year proposed the designation, which could have spurred various restrictions to protect it in Alaska and other northwestern states where the wolverine lives, The Associated Press reported.
FWS Director Dan Ashe said Tuesday the impact of climate change on the wolverine was “ambiguous,” adding that it would be impossible to determine whether disappearing snow cover could lead to wolverine extinction, AP said.
If future studies make the link between climate change and harm to the wolverine more clear, the FWS will act to protect it, Ashe said.
Wildlife organizations blasted the decision and said they would sue the service to force the designation, the AP reported.