THE WOLVERINE – FIERCE BUT VULNERABLE
Fearsome, strong and solitary, the wolverine is not just a comic hero, but also the largest terrestrial member of the weasel family. This tough carnivore needs huge, wild areas to survive. Despite its awesome reputation, the wolverine is not invincible.
Wolverines might be endangered in the US and are a Species of Special Concern in BC and under the Canadian Species at Risk Act. Wolverine habitat everywhere is increasingly impacted by human activity, and climate change is melting the winter snowpack wolverines rely on for survival. How do these changes contribute to the decline in their numbers seen in many places?
We are conducting scientific research to better understand the effects of human activity on wolverine distribution, reproduction, connectivity and gene flow in Canada's Northern Columbia Region (2018 Annual Report), the Southern Columbia Region (Dens & Drones in the Kootenays) and the Canadian portion of the Crown of the Continent ecosystem (2016 Summary Report).
Using non-invasive methods such as remote cameras and DNA analysis of hair samples, we focus on landscape-scale questions of wolverine ecology in multi-use working landscapes. Our projects are undertaking the crucial research required to provide science-based information to agency decision-makers, landowners, natural resource companies, and First Nations so that the needs of wolverine are incorporated into land use plans, management plans, highway mitigation and other projects.
To succeed, we work collaboratively with agency biologists, local organizations, industry partners, non-profit conservation groups, and volunteer citizen-scientists to gather and disseminate the projects' findings. Our goal is to educate and engage communities to build support for conserving the integrity of large landscapes, their ecological processes (particularly wildlife movement and habitat connectivity), and solutions that protect wildlife in the working landscapes of the study areas.
We would like to hear from you if you see a wolverine, wolverine sign (tracks, scats, den), or what you might think was a wolverine sign. We're interested in submissions from anywhere in Western Canada, but in particular from the Selkirks, Purcells, Monashees, Cariboos and Canadian Rockies: Report a sighting
Recent Facebook Posts
Demographic fragmentation of a protected wolverine population bisected by a major transportation corridor
Until September 22, you can access our newest paper on the impact of a major highway on wolverine populations here, for free: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1ZVDf1R~eAtg~
And here is the final (and of course so much better!) version of the graphic abstract if you’d like to share it with the wolverine and science..
Wildsight has been an important partner, helping us conduct our wolverine research in the Canadian Rockies and beyond. Tony talked with them..