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New Wolverine Video

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 19th, 2009

Researchers at Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) have documented a rare male North American wolverine (Gulo gulo) on SPIs managed forest lands in the Northern Sierra Nevada Mountains. The sighting on SPIs forest lands follows a photo of a wolverine taken by a graduate student in 2008 about 15 miles from the SPI location. Video courtesy of Sierra Pacific Industries. March 18, 2009.

SPI Release By Mark Pawlicki, Sierra Pacific Industries

The endemic wolverine is listed by the State of California as a threatened species and holds special protection status under California law. Until these sightings, the presence of wolverines in the state had not been confirmed since the 1920′s.

Using DNA extracted from hair samples collected at photo stations, Dr. Michael Schwartz at the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station concluded the wolverine was the same individual photographed in both locations. It is not a descendent of the last known Southern Sierra Nevada population. Based on analysis of its DNA, it most closely resembles genetic types found throughout the Northern Rocky Mountains.

The wolverine detections were made using movement-operated cameras as part of SPI’s ongoing comprehensive wildlife monitoring program. The sightings occurred on the company’s forest lands in December and January northwest of Truckee, California. These lands have been privately owned since the 1860′s and have produced forest products since the 1930′s. The most recent harvest in the area occurred in 2008.

“This is a rare and exciting experience for wildlife experts and forest managers,” said SPI biologist Amanda Shufelberger. “Including the wolverine among the 250-plus wildlife species known to inhabit SPI lands is a welcome addition and supports the concept of balancing sustainable production of forest products with the protection of wildlife habitat” noted Shufelberger.

She added that SPI will continue to work cooperatively with the Department of Fish and Game in future forest carnivore surveys.

The North American wolverine is the largest terrestrial member of the weasel family. Adult males weigh 26 to 40 pounds, while females are 17 to 26 pounds. It resembles a small bear, with a bushy tail and broad head. The wolverine’s diet includes carrion, small mammals, birds, insects, berries, and fungi.

U.S. populations are found largely in the Northern Cascades in Washington, the Northern Rockies in Montana and Idaho, and in Alaska. Wolverines have large home ranges that vary greatly depending upon gender, age and food availability.

Sierra Pacific Industries is a third-generation family-owned forest products company based in Anderson, California. Sierra Pacific is committed to managing its lands in a responsible and sustainable manner to protect the environment while providing quality wood products for consumers.

:-) Thank You.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


One Response to “New Wolverine Video”

  1. dogu4 responds:

    Thanks for the latest on the Wolverine. It’s reputation for stealth and requirement for wilderness makes it something of a poster-boy for conservation of wild lands. Glad to see it returning to some of its old haunts even if there is doubt as to just which regional population is making the scene.

    The wolverine to me has lately become not just iconic regarding wilderness but it also is a reminder of just how narrow has been our perspective on our northern hemisphere’s long natural history. I believe the speculation by some evolutionary biologists that the wolverine seems to have been adapted for the kind of landscape that used to be very common across the boreal and temperate north, but is now very rare. I’m referring to the periglacial edges of the continental glaciers. Now alpine glaciers are reduced in scale and continental glaciers non-existence except in the polar north and south, but not too long ago, and sure enough one day again, the really big continental glaciers dominate the landscape. When we are presented modern images of the ice age we are invariably shown images of Greenland or Antarctica, all white and forbidding. But those are polar climates and not quite like the glaciers would have been as they extended into the temperate continental zones. The glaciers as the spread out like melting ice cream would have had a perched surface of dirt and debris (it is afterall what a glacier does best), melted and melting, leaving the erosional products to form a kind of surfacescape that occurs in only rare instances now, for example the snout of the Muldrow Glacier on the Alaska Range’s north slopes that flow down from Denali. Instead of the vertical wall of hundreds if not thousands of feet often portrayed we see a relatively low-aspect array of hills supporting small drunken forests, meadows, wild water features like moulins, and waterfalls, and disappearing torrents of meltwater. Ideal habitat for lots of animals especially in light of the fact that the broad forelands of these glaciers would have been dominated by strong winds and almost no surface water due to the gravelly, sandy sediments that would form a wide stretch of almost desert like conditions. On the glacier itself the glacier produced high pressure system would mean that during the spring summer and fall there would be abundant sunlight.

    A landscape like that is not stable, of course and a certain number of animals big and small would find themselves trapped. Their carcasses under boulders and debris piles would be a powerful attractant to a carrion eater who could trundle boulders and dig diligently and fearlessly to extract this resource, the wolverine fits that bill.

    And today where they occur it is likely to be in remote alpine settings, seeking something to dig out from under scree or talus field, dead or alive.

    Prior to the introduction of commercial hunting populations of wolverines still roamed in the temperate regions, northern Michigan, the Allegheny Plateau, The Black Hills and across the northland where these post glacial contitions still existed to a degree or as some thin echo, the wolverines having adapted to sharing the resources with other predators, stealing a cache or doggedly running down its prey.

    The talk these days is all about global warming yet it is an undeniable fact that our geography if nothing else suggests that for whatever reason warming is not the norm for our current geography, nor will it be until the tectonic forces push/pull the continents into an arrangement that precludes the creation of persistent cold regions. The movement is slow but the earth is patient.

    The not so distant past of the ice ages is still mysterious to us and so different its hard to imagine what it must have been like, but rest assured it wasn’t much like how we see it imagined in most books and on popular tv.

    Of course understanding wolverines gives us a window into the past and maybe into the mystery of how our own ancestors (those H. erectus in Zhouchoutien, China, recently determined to be living 700Kya and of course the rumor of giant hominins across the same habitat where wolverines are sometime seen) were molded into modernity by the relentless climate change that still goes on all around us.



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