Wolverines

There have been a string of wolverine sightings in the states lately, like this guy from Utah.

Then there was this guy running through Lewistown, MT.

One was camera trapped in Yellowtone, another was filmed there as well. Even Michigan is in on it. It is too bad not much is known about them.

Overall, though, Fisher and his colleagues found that public consciousness about these animals had increased in the last 20 years. The number of studies has also increased greatly due in part to new technology like trail cameras and DNA research. But a number of gaps in the research on wolverines persist.

“It’s almost the species that time forgot in a lot of jurisdictions,” he said. Even in Canada, where most research has been done on the animals, the studies were mostly conducted without the benefit of much funding.

As mentioned above, data tends to be hard to come by but their profile seems to have increased recently. More people are beginning to see them as real animals versus the mythology of snarling gluttons. When I saw a PBS show about a guy that raised some kits and they turned out to be like hyperactive playful puppies I was impressed. I think this guy may have been the source of the proposal to use wolverines for  avalanche rescue. That idea didn’t get far. LOL. That aside their attributes seem to inspire everyone, even the people who work with them think they are super cool. I remember a National Geographic piece on them about a decade ago by Douglas Chadwick, I think. I haven’t read his book, The Wolverine Way, but want to. In the article he mentioned,

M3, one of the radio-tracked wolverines studied in Montana’s Glacier National Park, scaled the almost vertical 4,900 feet of Mt Cleveland in 90 minutes. He summited the 10,466 foot peak in the dead of winter when the snow is so deep and the ice so slick that humans can’t even get near it. He looked around for a few minutes and came right back down.

This news was for me when wolverines became one of my favorite critters. Their abilities and adaptions defy belief sometimes. They are a northern analogue to Honey Badgers, another legendary badass.

They are vulnerable to the climate crisis supposedly but I hope it doesn’t come to that.

Some PBS video.

*Update

Ok, now I want one.

3 thoughts on “Wolverines”

  1. Re: “gaps in research”, mystery ain’t no bad thing. I love nature’s surprises. Not to say illumination is unwelcome, however. Thanks for this.

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