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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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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Predator and prey dynamics are such that the prey animal often escapes the pursuing predator...............Like elite Hall of Fame baseball players, "hitting .300(3 of 10 chances getting a hit) is what the Wolverine, Wolf, Puma, Bobcat, Lynx, Black Bear, Griizly Bear, Fisher, Marten and Wolverine "hit" when stalking, chasing and catching prey.............In the video below, a Montana Glacier National Park Wolverine exhibits both its fleet swimming and running style in pursuit of a deer............While very quick and able to obtain speeds up to 30mph, the Wolverine fails to "make a catch", one of the 7 of 10 "swings and misses" that occur over a a course of a week in the wild


The wolverine doesn't always get the deer, but the chase scene sure looks impressive

The wolverine doesn't always get the deer, but the chase scene sure looks impressive
Those who've seen a wolverine in the wild count themselves lucky. Those who've seen a wolverine hunting in the wild – well, that's close to snowball-in-hell territory.
Over the Fourth of July weekend up in the Beaverhead Mountains along the Continental Divide in far southwestern Montana, a group of right-place-right-time onlookers got to witness this once-in-a-million sight – and catch it on film, to boot!
The video, taken near Ajax Mountain and posted to YouTube by Whitney Beckley, shows a wolverine making an honest college try for a mule-deer fawn. Its efforts see the lean mustelid – one of the biggest members of the weasel family – swimming a mountain lake, then coming ashore in an apparent effort to cut the fawn off.

Upon the approach of the doe across a snowfield, the wolverine lopes upslope and engages in a bit of a face-off with the adult deer before retreating. Thanks perhaps to its mother's interference, the swimming fawn manages to escape.
It's a remarkable scene, partly for the wolverine athleticism it reveals. Cannonballing into the lake, paddling full-tilt, dashing along the shoreline snowpack, bounding up a rocky mountainside – you can't help but be impressed by the big weasel's venison-inspired peppiness.

Then again, this is a carnivore famous for its dogged strength. In what may as well serve as a dictionary definition of "hardcore", one GPS-collared male wolverine climbed the loftiest peak in Montana's Glacier National Park, 10,466-foot Mount Cleveland, in the middle of winter, powering about a vertical mile up a steep headwall to the top in a cool 90 minutes.
The wolverine in Beckley's video also boasts distinctive colouration, its creamy underside extending across much of its right foreleg.
While commonly thought of as scavengers, wolverines can also be effective hunters of young ungulates such as this deer fawn. In one study in northern British Columbia, the mustelids were the most important predator (in a carnivore guild that also included gray wolves and grizzly bears) of newborn woodland caribou during calving season.

In winter drifts, when its oversized snowshoe paws give it a mobility advantage, the wolverine will occasionally try for full-grown hoofed quarry: earlier this year, equally rare footage out of northern Norway showed a tenacious attack on an adult reindeer in a driving blizzard. And a few years back, onlookers managed to film a wolverine killing a caribou on Alaska's North Slope.
It hopefully goes without saying, but such intense-to-watch dramas are simply the food web in play: wolverines being wolverines, which means taking advantage of any meal opportunity they can.
And as this latest video from the Montana Rockies suggests, the wolverine most certainly doesn't always get her deer

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