Searching for Wolverines in a Vast Northern Wilderness


Contact

Justina Ray
President & Senior Scientist

Related

Boreal Wolverines

Published

2018-06-08

A survey to study this elusive, threatened mammal stretched over 7 winters and 70,000 kilometers

It was truly like searching for a needle in a haystack: finding an average-dog-size mammal in a vast expanse of boreal forest larger than the state of California. Yet our seven-year effort at the conservation organization WCS Canada to survey the elusive wolverine in the province of Ontario has provided us with a much clearer picture of how this threatened species is faring in its easternmost North American outpost.

Wolverines, especially males, have home ranges as large as 1,000 square kilometers. To properly understand their status requires searching over a substantial survey area. We realized that for these animals, a capture, tag and release strategy simply was not going to provide the big picture analysis needed to understand their province-wide distribution and would be enormously expensive to undertake. So we took to the sky.

Read more in Scientific American.

Studying the Elusive Wolverine, a Threatened Species in Northern Ontario

Studying the Elusive Wolverine, a Threatened Species in Northern Ontario

Wolverines (Gulo gulo) can be a challenging species to study in the wild.
Matthew Scrafford

A northern spring: hope for the birds, and for me

A northern spring: hope for the birds, and for me

You hear them long before you see them: a raspy, gurgling call builds on the horizon. Sandhill cranes.
Hilary Cooke

Unlikely allies work together to save wolverines

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