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Matthew Scrafford

Wolverine Conservation Scientist

Ontario Northern Boreal

Dr. Matthew Scrafford is a Conservation Scientist and leads the Wolverine Program.

Matthew works with government, industry, indigenous groups, and trappers to advance the understanding and conservation of wolverines and caribou in Ontario. As a Scientist with WCS Canada, Matthew led a 7-year wolverine radiotelemetry and camera-trapping study in Red Lake, Ontario to document the effects of human disturbances on wolverine abundance, distribution, survival, and denning. Matthew is currently leading winter aerial surveys for wolverine and caribou tracks to understand long term changes in their distribution. Matthew also is leading a camera-trapping project to determine how predators of caribou use decommissioned forestry roads.

Matthew began his ecology career as an assistant on U.S. Forest Service wildlife research projects in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Along the way, he also worked wildland fire as a U.S. Forest Service Hotshot. He received his MSc at Montana State University where he studied the ecology of reintroduced beavers north of Yellowstone National Park. Matthew received his PhD from the University of Alberta with a research focus on wolverine habitat selection, movement, foraging behaviour, and density in industrialized habitats in the Rainbow Lake and Birch Mountains areas of northern Alberta. This study, combined with radiotelemetry work in Red Lake, Ontario, have provided an unprecedented understanding of the ecology of wolverines in boreal forest habitats with industrial development.

Resources


Stories and op-eds

Community science is helping track wolverines in the Cascades
2021-06-15

Community science is helping track wolverines in the Cascades

Tracks left by wildlife provide a wealth of information that help inform their management and conservation
Matthew Scrafford
On the track of wolverines, from Ontario to Washington State
2021-06-12

On the track of wolverines, from Ontario to Washington State

Tracks left by wildlife provide a wealth of information that can help to inform wildlife management and conservation efforts.
Matthew Scrafford
Unlikely allies work together to save wolverines
2020-01-21

Unlikely allies work together to save wolverines

I was living in Rainbow Lake, Alberta and studying wolverine ecology for my PhD at the University of Alberta when I got a call from a local trapper.
Matthew Scrafford

Media coverage

Wolverine: Tracking the elusive trickster

2022-10-02 | Canadian Geographic

Great Lakes Untamed

Wolverine Walker Of The Great Lakes
2022-09-23 | TVO

The wolverine, a recluse, becomes more of an open book to scientists

In this article documenting the success of sequencing the wolverine genome, Dr. Matt Scrafford, WCS Canada Conservation Scientist, elaborates on the significance of this work and possible threats to wolverines in the future.
2022-09-05 | Cabin Radio

, M. Scrafford
© M. Scrafford
Areas of expertise
Caribou Wolverines Boreal Beavers Wolves Resource extraction