It’s an exciting time for wolverine trackers in Oregon and California.
In Oregon, after countless unconfirmed reports of wolverine sightings and years of setting up cameras in remote, snow-covered forests, wildlife biologists working with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have finally found what they were looking for.
Photos Of Two Wolverines Snapped In Oregon
From the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife via Ecotrope:
Two wolverines were caught on camera this month in Wallowa County. The first discovery came April 17 with a confirmed set of wolverine tracks. Then, just days later, researchers found their camera in Wallowa County had snapped pictures of two wolverines on April 2 and 13.
Click here to see a great video of Oregon Fish and Wildlife experts searching for the rare and elusive wolverine, as well as wolverine photos.
These are the first wolverines known to be in Wallowa County in northeastern Oregon.
Lone Wolverine Continues To Roam The Californian Sierras
Meanwhile, in California comes news of a lone wolverine roaming the Sierra.
From Lake Tahoe News:
He wanders long distances at night, alone.
He curls up under wind-stunted trees at the timberline.
And from a distance, he can hear the rumble of traffic along Interstate 80.
But almost no one has ever seen him.
“He’s gone before you even have a clue he’s there,” said Amanda Shufelberger, a wildlife biologist with Sierra Pacific Industries who has tracked the animal across the Sierra Nevada since 2008. “He does not want to see you.”
Three years after the discovery of a wolverine in the Tahoe National Forest north of Truckee, the elusive creature continues to roam the region, defying expectations, delighting many and stirring calls to find him a mate.
Why All The Fuss?
Wolverines have experienced a steady decline since the 19th century in the face of trapping, range reduction and habitat fragmentation, and now it is estimated that there are only about 300 of them in the United States.
Under pressure from environmentalists, the species became a candidate for the federal Endangered Species Act protections in December of last year, but the authorities haven’t gotten around to doing anything about it yet.
Wolverines are specially adapted to snow, and global warming is shrinking their habitat. They are protected by Oregon as a threatened species, and this is the first confirmed sighting in the state since 1992.
So these are very cool findings! Now if only that lone Sierra wolverine could find a mate!
Photo Credit: Birgit F via Creative Commons