How do you know the tracks you’ve seen are wolverine? What other tracks could you confound them with? Especially marten, Canadian lynx and porcupine tracks can be mistaken for wolverine. Click on the images below for higher resolution.
Wolverine ID card:
Wolverine: When traveling, wolverines tracks usually display a characteristic 2×2 or 3×3 pattern. While wolverine tracks can be found in the valley bottom and in forests, they are often encountered high up above tree-line, where they are visible from far. Wolverines usually travel in a straight line, sometimes for kilometers, as if they are on a mission!
American (pine) marten: Marten are much smaller than wolverine, but have a similar 2×2 pattern. A marten only measures about 0.5 – 0.7 m (1.5 to 2.2 feet) (including tail), and their paws are small, 3.5 – 4 cm long (~1.5 inch).
Canadian lynx: Lynx tracks are of a similar size than wolverines, but they don’t show the 5th toe, and their claws are, like with all cats, usually retracted when they walk. They also usually walk in a more undulating way than wolverine, and the distance between paw prints is very regular.
Porcupine: These rodents have a very characteristic gait, and usually drag their tails. In deep snow, porcupines can leave hard-to-identify tracks. Sometimes, porcupine dens are reported as wolverine dens. We ourselves have been fooled, before, too!