March 2020 Update:
The good news – with the help of Mike Wiegele Heli Skiing, Parks Canada, K3 Cat Ski and Mustang Powder, we managed to squeeze in the March field work despite very tight funds, being as cautions as we could about limiting exposure to the new virus. We took down a lot of sites already, where we have enough data or where re-visiting would be extra-costly.
The bad news – we lost a lot of funding, too, as our heli and cat ski partners had to close early. Everyone is suffering of course, especially small businesses. Many friends and colleagues have already lost their job and income, and even more importantly, we're all worried about our loved ones' health. Like all projects currently in limbo, though, we'll still have to finish somehow, eventually, once normalcy will return.
This project's field work was always scheduled to end this spring, ideally between late April and snow melt in May, or whenever the Coronavirus restrictions are lifted. This last round is needed to take down all structures, retrieve equipment and collect final data, and due to the above-mentioned losses we're short by about $36k. This is the absolutely worst time ever for fundraising, as we're all preoccupied with more immediate concerns. We'll leave this project and donation info up however, as perhaps investing in proactive wolverine research may give you the satisfaction that you contributed to your favourite species at a time it wasn’t yet in an immediate crisis? Even if us humans are in an immediate crisis?
In any case, for now virtually all field work is stopped while we do our part and self-isolate to slow down the virus and see how things develop. Fortunately the non-invasive sampling stations don't "need us" and life in the wild continues apace, even if us humans are in lock-down. Stay safe and healthy, everyone!
Fearsome, strong and solitary, the wolverine, the largest terrestrial weasel is a tough carnivore that needs huge, wild areas to survive. Despite its awesome reputation, the wolverine is not invincible.
Wolverines might be endangered in the US and are of Special Concern in BC and under the Canadian Species at Risk Act. Why? Wolverines habitat everywhere is increasingly impacted by human activity. Climate change is melting away the deep spring snowpack wolverines rely on for survival. How do these changes contribute to the decline in their numbers seen in many places?
Our research aims to better understand the effects of human activity on wolverine distribution, reproduction, connectivity and gene flow in Canada's Northern Columbia Region (2019 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).
We use 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. We aim 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.
Enough talk! Watch the teaser for our documentary! If you crave more wolverine time, the full film is here.
Citizen Science - Report a Sighting
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 Canada, but in particular from the Selkirks, Purcells, Monashees, Cariboos and Canadian Rockies: Report a sighting