BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Another lawsuit has been filed challenging the government's denial of federal protections for the wolverine.

Thirteen advocacy groups and an ecologist were named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Montana. It claims the government relied on "contorted" data when it declined protections for the species in August. An estimated 250 to 300 wolverines survive in the Lower 48 states.

The members of the weasel family give birth to their young in deep mountain snowfields that some scientists say could be at risk of disappearing as the climate changes. After proposing protections last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in August said there was too much uncertainty in computer climate change models to justify protections. Two other lawsuits have been filed over the issue.