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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, June 6, 2014

New information about Wolverine populations bridging Canada and the USA in the Alberta eastern Rocky Mountains is concerning----Outside of the National Parks in this region, the so-called "Occupancy rate(Wolverines per suitable habitat) is only at 8% versus inside Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks where 25% of suitable habitat is occupied by Wolverines................This low occupancy region known as the Castle Wilderness region is a critical connectivity link in the Yellowstone to Yukon land bridge----So important it is for Wolverines and other carnivores to have viable populations here so that gene connectivity between Canada and the USA is optimized,,,,,,,,,which will heighten long term persistence of Wolverines, Wolves, Grizzlies and other trophic carnivores..............

link-----Study finds low number of wolverines
 along Eastern Slopes of the Rockies

Study finds low 

number of wolverines

 along Eastern Slopes 

of the Rockies

More protection 


 on eastern slopes 

of Rockies

Study finds low number of wolverines along Eastern Slopes of the Rockies

Wolverine populations are significantly lower along

 the eastern slopes of the Rockies than in the national 

parks, sparking a call for greater environmental 

protection for the area, which includes the Castle

 wilderness area.

Photograph by: Courtesy: Tony Clevenger

A new survey of wolverines along the Eastern
Slopes of the Rockies - considered a crucial link
between those in Canada and the United States -
suggests the population isn't as healthy as in the
national parks.The three-year study by several 
researchers is examining southwestern Alberta
 from Highway 3 in the Crowsnest Pass south to
 the U.S border.

The area includes the Castle wilderness area,
 which could receive additional protection by the
 province in the South Saskatchewan Regional
 Plan - a land-use plan for southern Alberta that's
scheduled to be released in July.
The survey's preliminary results, which used remote
 cameras and hair traps, suggest a low number of
 wolverines in the area.
"They are certainly showing a lot less than what
 we found in the national park complex," said
Tony Clevenger, a biologist at Montana State
University's Western Transportation
Institute. "When we compare these preliminary
 results from this past winter with others ... it's still
quite a bit lower.

"It's based on visitation rates, so it's not an
estimate of a population size but it's an
indicator of population status."
Researchers, led by Clevenger, found an eight
 per cent occupancy rate - much lower than
 similar results in Kananaskis, which saw a
25 per cent occupancy rate, and in Banff
, Yoho and Kootenay national parks, where
 the rate was 84 per cent.
Conservationists said the results show the
 province needs to take the protection of the
eastern slopes more seriously in the land-use plan.

"It's a bit of a red flag that ... this vital connection
is compromised," said Karsten Heuer, president
of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
. "Some of the best places in that vital connection,
 we have an opportunity to protect them right now -
 the Castle being one of them. "If we let that 
opportunity go by, then we are consciously 
putting another nail in the coffin of a species
 that I think everybody wants to ensure exists
 in the future."

With only 250 to 300 wolverines left south of the
 border, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will
decide this fall whether to make wolverines an
endangered species. They are listed as a
species of special concern in Alberta under
the federal Species at Risk Act.
As part of its draft land-use plan for the area,
the province is increasing protected areas
 along the eastern slopes, including the
creation of the Castle Wildland Provincial
Park at higher elevations. Conservationists
. however, have argued that it's only protecting
 the rocks and ice.

Neil Watson, a spokesman for Alberta
Environment and Sustainable Resource
Development, said the land-use plan is
nearly complete, but it has considered a
 wide range of material since the draft was
released last fall. "The government is finalizing
 the plan," he said, noting it still has to be 
approved by cabinet.
Heuer said the province still has an opportunity
 to do the right thing.
"This is a bridge, this is a connection between
 what we presume are some fairly healthy
wolverine populations in the Rocky Mountain
 national parks and what are very much struggling
wolverine populations to the south in the U.S.,"
 he said. "For those struggling U.S. populations'
 survival in the long term, this vital connection,
which includes the Castle, needs to be maintained."

He said that includes protecting the valley bottoms
in the land-use plan, creating additional wildlife
underpasses along Highway 3 and addressing
 road densities in the eastern slopes."The pattern 
of extinction globally is that when wildlife
populations that were once connected to other
 wildlife populations get cut off, they become
 entrapped on islands and they are subject to
 disease, fire, inbreeding," said Heuer. "Then 
there's no hope in rescuing them from those situations."

The wolverine survey, which also includes
researchers from Alberta Innovates Technology
Futures and the USDA Forest Service in Montana,
 will continue for two more years.

Five Days Left to

 Comment on 


Conservation Plan

June 05, 2014 1:30 am

JEROME • The comment period for people interested in Idaho Department of Fish and
 Game’s wolverine conservation plan ends
Monday. The plan was released May 19 for
 a 21-day public review. Commenting concludes
 June 9.
Wolverines are members of the weasel family.
 In the northern U.S., they occupy high-elevation
alpine and subalpine habitats with spring snow
cover and cool summer temperatures.

The Idaho Wolverine Conservation Plan was
 developed to proactively lead state efforts to 
conserve and protect wolverine populations
 and their habitats to ensure their long-term
 viability in Idaho, a Fish and Game release said. 
The plan includes statewide wolverine status and
 distribution, factors affecting population and 
habitat, priority areas for conservation, and 
supporting actions to benefit wolverines in Idaho.
For more information on wolverines, including
 a draft copy of the plan, go to:
Comments may be submitted on the website
 or by e-mail to; or
mailed to Wolverine Plan Comments, c/o
Idaho Fish and Game, P.O. Box 25, Boise,
 ID 83707.

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