In a study scheduled to appear in the Journal of Mammalogy and previewed in USA Today, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) scientists examined reproductive data from 1955 to 2011 and data about the food resources wolverines kept in their caches.
They discovered that female wolverines bore their young in dens near their food caches. Robert Inman, with WCS’s wolverine program, told USA Today the harsh, snowy zones needed for wolverines to survive would be affected by a warming climate.
Female wolverines bear their young in dens near their food caches. If a protective snow cover is no longer available to preserve their meat, the already small population will dwindle further.
With the entire wolverine population in the Lower 48 states estimated at between 250 and 300, warmer winters may edge them into extinction. Without the “refrigeration zones” the scientists believe they need, wolverines face starvation.
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