Wolverine

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Photo: Nancy Turner

wolverine

Appearance

Wolverines are in the weasel family, but are shaped more like a small bear. They are about the size of a medium dog and they have dark brown fur and two stripes of yellowish fur down each side of the body and yellow-white patches on the face. They have long, curved claws which are semi-retractable (they can be partly drawn back in).

Range & Habitat

Wolverines are found in all northern areas in the world. They are known for having a large home range and low numbers in their population. In B.C., the wolverines are found in the Sub-Boreal Interior and the Boreal Plains ecoprovinces.

Diet & Behaviour

Wolverines are carnivores, usually scavenging rather than hunting. Wolf kills are important for them and wolverines have been known to drag away moose and caribou carcasses.

Lifecycle & Threats

Wolverine populations are decreasing for two main reasons: (1) trapping/poisoning, and (2) loss of habitat. Their fur is very high quality and therefore high in value. Increased roads, built for logging activity, have made wolverines more vulnerable to trappers who can use the same roads for their traps. Wolverines are sensitive to human disturbance and activities such as snowmobiling and skiing near dens can affect wolverine populations. Habitat fragmentation (breaking up) also affects their populations by allowing increased human access. These factors, in combination with their naturally low numbers, have led to an international decrease in wolverine numbers.

Status

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

More Information

www.bcadventure.com

Photo: Peter Ademark