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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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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Further information on the initial hybridization events and genetic makeup of our Eastern Coyote(Coywolves)

In the Pennsylvania Game News Article attached, Roland Kays further discusses the differences between our Western Coyote(25 to 30 pounds............. primarily a consumer of rodents, rabbits and fruit........usually an occupier of open country........not sexually dimorphic(males and females usually of similar size) and our Eastern Coyote(coywolf)--(35-40 pounds with some checking in at 50 occupier of all types of forest cover as well as fields................a consumer of deer as well as rodents and rabbits................sexually dimorphic(males larger than females).

Kays genetic testing revealing that Western Coyotes hybridized with Eastern Wolves in Minnesotta and Canada with several female hybrids successfully fording the St Lawrence River and making there way into New York State where they subsequently have mated with Western Coyotes and other hybrids to the point where about 20% of the Coyote population in New England, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have the type of DNA typical of Wolves from Eastern Canada and the Great Lake States.

An easy-to-read and very informative addition to our Eastern Coyote data base.

click here to read entire article 

Coywolves(Eastern Coyotes) back in Gotham

Not just one or two, but perhaps a half dozen Eastern Coyotes(Coywolves) prospecting throughout Manhattan from Columbia University up around 125th Street and the West Central SOHO................with more expected to make the trek across one of the Bronx/Manhattan bridges during Fall 2010 as pups mature and seek their own territories outside of Westchester, County New York. See further information from Roland Kays(NY Museum) on origen and makeup of our Eastern Coyote in the post following this one.

click here to see picture of NY City Eastern Coyote

Monday, March 29, 2010

Joe Butera, President of Northeast Recovery Society seeking resticted hunting season on Coywolves(Eastern Coyotes

Joe has been active for years in New York State seeking the Fish and Wildlife Dept to "re-plant" wolves into the Adirondacks and New England. His plea to the New York Dept. of Environmental of Conservation Chief regarding a restricted Coywolf hunting season  is to the point and backed up by the detailed science that Roland Kays(NY State Museum) and Jon Way(Eastern Coyote Research) provide in their articles on the Eastern Coyote(Coywolf) in the posts that follow this one. As Joe states, the canid species being killed in New York State and the Northeast, have the characteristics/morphology of both wolf and coyote."
An near full year(9 month no bag limit) hunting season for our hybrid wolf/coyote Coywolf has nothing to do with conservation and perpetuation of the species...................................old school and out-of-date thinking on a species that has brought back wolf genes into our woodlands.

click here to read Joe's full letter

Roland Kays Eastern Coyote article-Western Coyotes hybridizing with Eastern Wolves

My friend Roland Kays who operates out of  the NY State Museum writing skillfully and explaining in full the exodus of the Western Coyote into the Northeast and Canada and subsequent hybridization with Eastern Wolves(C. Lycaon). Roland and his colleagues detail their theory and pathway that the coyotes took to their connection point with wolves as well as the ecological and physical characteristics of this new canid and its ability to fit in effectively to a changing Northeastern USA environment, ultimately achieving 'top dog status".

click here to read entire article

Jon Way Coywolf article to be released soon in Northeastern Naturalist(peer reviewed Journal)

Detailed and passionate(whether that is the right adjective to apply to scientific writing or not.................I believe passionate describes the attached!!) analysis by Jon Way and colleagues making the case for the Eastern Wolf/Western Coyote hybridization events that have produced C. latrans/lycaon..............our Eastern Coyote.  Jon and team lay out the facts for our Eastern Coyote to now be formally recognized as Coywolves.  With Coywolves being a good 10 pounds heavier than our Western coyote(c.latrans) at 30 to 40 pounds(and on occasion 50 pounds), our Northeastern canid has demonstrated that it is better adapted anthropogenically to the modified farm/field/woodland/urban interface habitat that most of the Eastern USA has been transformed into through our human alteration of the landscape.

click here to read full article

Jon Way/Rick Meril correspondence regarding Jon's Coywolf (Eastern Wolf/Western Coyote) hybridization article

Jon( and I regularly communicate on all things Coywolf(Eastern Coyote). Joe Butera's letter to the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation heavily cites Jon's wolf/coyote hybridization findings in calling for hunting bag limits on a predator that has endangered Wolf genes.

click here to read our Jon and Rick correspondence

Sunday, March 28, 2010


This is the first of the next 6 consecutive postings that are interconnected regarding the theme of: DID NATIVE AMERICANS THROUGH THE USE OF FIRE SPEED UP AND INDUCE THE RAPID DEMISE OF OUR TOP TROPHIC PREDATORS(WOLVES, COUGARS, BEARS)?

click here for Jon Coleman's perspective on European versus Indian attitudes on killing wolves and other predators

Bill Cronon's classic: CHANGES IN THE LAND; INDIANS, COLONISTS AND THE ECOLOGY OF NEW ENGLAND..........and his observation of Indian set fires impacting the environment

Prolific Environmental Writer, Bill Cronon(U. of Wisconsin) sharing his observations of Indian set fire in the eastern woodlands

click here for the snapshot

Fire on the New England Landscape:

Harvard Forests David Foster and T. Parshall's analysis of Fires impact on the environment prior to and after the arrival of Europeans in New England

click here to read article

Reconstructing Holocene fire history in southern appalachians

Kurt Fesenmyer(Duke U.) strong paper on Indian impact on environment thru use of fire

click here to read article

Prehistoric Native Americans and Ecological Change

Paul  and Hazel Delcourt(Professors of Ecology-U. of Tennessee) observation and research on Indian set fire and the environment

click here to read commentary

Did Native Americans cause local extinctions of cougars and wolves thru forest burning? causes many simultaneous emotions to come pouring through your brain............terror, destruction, fear, loss are the common initial feelings...................For a few of us,  regeneration and rebirth might come to mind when we hear the word fire. Landscape Ecologists and Foresters are very familiar with the regenerating benefits that can result from fire including the scarification of certain  tree, flower and shrub seeds that require the enormous heat of forest and prarie fire to generate their bursting open and taking root.

But how did fire influence the behavior of Native Americans prior to Europeans arriving to our shores at the beginning of the 16th Century? While there is contradictory evidence of how extensively Indians used fire to shape their surroundings, most Researchers have concluded that around their camps and villages, Indians to some extent utilized fire to girdle stands of trees for crop planting as well as creating "forest edges" to encourage Deer browse which improved hunting.

The question that I pose(and examined in some fashion in the 5 previous postings that you perused on this blog) is whether Indian use of fire to drive game increased so dramatically during the Colonial Fur trading period that it exponentially hastened the  destruction of our trophic, keystone Cougar and Wolf predators East of the Mississippi River.

As Calvin Martin comments in his award winning KEEPERS OF THE GAME(U. OF CALIFORNIA PRESS 1978)...."The nature of the relationship between Indian and animal was essentially a contract of mutual obligation and courtesy. When European epidemic disease began to ravage them, destroying perhaps 90 percent of the native population, Indians took it to be a conspiracy that the forest animals were causing their maladies. When their own Medicine Men were unable to cure these diseases, the stage was set for a war of retaliation-the sacred agreement with the Keepers of the Game having been broken.

As Jon T. Coleman concludes in his beautifully written VICIOUS: Wolves and men in America(Yale U. Press 2004)....Indians did not hunt wolves and cougars indiscriminately. Their trapping was a by-product of the Indians hunting deer. The Algonquians snared deer after the harvest in the fall, many times burning a portion of the woods(driving the deer in a certain direction in the process), each man having a 3 or 4 mile responsibility setting 30 or 40 snares per locale. If when coming to a particular snare they found a wolf or cougar feasting on one of the Indians trapped deer, they would smash the cougar and wolves dead, feeling that they were justified to kill  these animal predators as they were "robbing" they, the human animal predators of their sustenance.

The conclusions that many researchers have reached regarding intentional use of fire by Indians can be summed in Kurt Fesenmyer's recently released RECONSTRUCTING HOLOCENE FIRE HISTORY IN A SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN FOREST USING SOIL CHARCOAL(Ecological Society of America 2010)....."Fires appear to have become more frequent and widespread ca. 1000 years ago coinciding with the appearance of Woodland Native Americans in the area.

There are some Landscape Ecologists like my friends Emily Russell and David Foster who strongly feel that Indian set fires were not annual or biannual arrangements..........................."There is no strong evidence that Indians purposely burned large areas  of the forested Northeast frequently. The presence of Indians did, however, undoubtedly increase the frequency of fires above the low numbers caused by lightning. The increase from the "natural fires" was greatest in areas near Indian habitations. In these areas, fires and firewood gathering may have thinned the timber, creating an open forest free of undergrowth. In most areas climate and soils probably played the major role in determining the the forest at large, fires accidentally caused by Indians merely augmented the number of natural fires."--Emily Russell......................We do not conclude from our results that Native Americans did not have a significant impact on the local occurrence of fire or vegetation composition in New England. However, their effects may have been to small to be easily detected in the palaeoecological record.--David Foster.........................Raup was no doubt right that the entirety of Southern New England was never regularly burned......I have limited the claims of my argument(indian burning of the forest) to the local vicinity of village sites--William Cronon.

The fur trade, disease, the arrival of garden crops(corn, bean, squash--"the three sisters" as the Indians called them) causing fixed settlements rather than historic nomadic hunting.............these and many more might have heightened the use of fire by Indians when hunting................with the possible conclusion that their totem animal predators(Cougar, Bear, Wolf) were exterminated at a faster pace than would otherwise have been had we Europeans not colonized North America.

click here for Emily Russell's INDIAN-SET FIRES

Big Momma

Black Bears normally have one or two cubs per season..........This "BIG MOMMA" adding to the population nicely----hopefully she can provide for all of them and protect them as well......not an easy job with this brood!

Black bears (Ursus americanus) typically give birth to two cubs; on rare occasions, one or three. So when photographer Tom Sears heard of a black bear sow in New Hampshire with five cubs, he lingered by their favorite trail in the hopes of photographing them together. "After spending nearly four hours a day, seven, days a week, for six weeks:' says Sears, "I had that once in a lifetime opportunity."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

never put all your "pollinator eggs' in one basket

Perpetuating and optimizing the diversity of species from the "crawlers and "scratchers" like ants and bees to the "charismatic mega-fauna" like Jaguars and Wolves is both a moral and practical imperative if we are to live a  healthy and robust life.  Many of you are familiar with our domestic honeybees being in drastic decline due to what is being called "Colony-collapse disorder". Whether it be due to pesticides, a virus, climate change, etc, etc, etc, the bottom line is that the domesticated honeybee is our primary maker of honey and we are putting that industry in jeopardy due to this bee decline.  Our native pollinators(bees, bumblebees, wasps, etc) like our native mammalian predators are being destroyed with greater frequency due to conversion of forests and praries for agriculture as well as housing and industry projects. Our population continues to increase which further our demands for such foods as almonds, apples and advocados which all require the services of our native pollinators if not primarily, then certainly in conjunction with our reduced colonies of domestic bees.  if we destroy and narrow down to just a few species of pollinators, we will suffer in the long term................................Long term versus short term profits.................until our Economists and Accountants factor in the cost of destroying nature everytime we so call engage in acts of progress(building homes, factories, etc), we are going to make it very hard for our descendants to live as good a life as we do....................Take away the variety of condiments in the kitchen and the entrees we prepare are not as tasty.........................Take away the genetic diversity in our natural world, and we eventually will not live as "tasty" a life as we would like.

video footage of Coywolf prospecting on New York city's West Side Highway(no kidding!!!!)

Since the New Year, Coywolves(Eastern Coyotes) have been prospecting their way in from Westchester County, NY and The borough of the Bronx via some of the connective Bridges into Manhattan...............Central Park, the Columbia University Campus and now the West Side Highway(a main auto artery on Manhattan's West Side) has seen our most adaptable and persistant North American canid looking to find a mate and set up shop. WPIX Television(the CW affiliate in NY) was on the scene several weeks ago as New York's finest(Men in Blue) sought to tranquilize and capture one bold and clever Coywolf.
Enjoy a good 5 minutes or more of New York's Coywolf eluding the Cops!!!!!!

Click here to go to NY Post newspaper page with the Coywolf video on the lower left side of the on the picture to watch the video

Catskill Mountain coyotes are truly COYWOLVES

My friend Frank Carbone lives in the Southern Catskill Mountains in New York State. Frank has trail cameras set up on his property and is constantly recording the wildlife on his property. As Massachusetts Biologist Jon Way calls them..............Eastern Coyotes are truly COYWOLVES.............a mix and hybridization of our Eastern Wolf(C.lycayon) and Western Coyote(C. latrans)...............Larger in size by a good 10 pounds than coyotes found in the Midwest and Western States and truly wolf looking in appearance and "swagger"...............sometimes packing up and becoming an efficient predator of deer(fawns as well as adults). Take a look at Frank's outstanding pictures that his cameras recently caught of the top dog in the East.................................COYWOLVES!

click here to view the pictures(u need to follow the instructions on Franks page and click his "slideshow" icon

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Harris Interactive web solution for Non Profits(email fundraising and marketing services available)

My long time friend and Entrepreneur, Robert Gluck is the CEO of Harris Connect, LLC.  Harris Connect provides non-profits with an array of solutions to engage members and generate revenue. Commemorative publications, services to update email, phone and mailing address data;innovative online communities including email marketing and fundraising.This great Organization serves more than 4000 non profits worldwide and is headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia with offices in NY and Texas. You can contact Robert and his colleagues at 1-800-326-6600and email them for more information at Robert is the ultimate Professional and will serve you well.
click here to read about Harris Connect full array of services

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wildlands Network update

A full time and laser-like focus on Re-Wilding North America with connective corridors and large swaths of open space to optimize all life is what the WILDLANDS NETWORK works on daily. One of the initiatives spearheaded by my friend Conrad Reining is to create a wildlands network up and down the Appalachian Mountains from florida into Georgia up through the Carolinas, Virginia's through the Nations Capitol on up into NJ, Penn, NY, New England connecting to Algonquin Park in Canada.............Another WILDLANDS initiative taking place out West linking YellowStone clear on up into the Yukon...............A third effort linking New Mexico, Arizona, Texas down into Mexico and even a Prarie continuum across the Grasslands of the USA and Canada...........I proudly support these efforts and I hope you will to.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wolves from Wisconsin "prospecting" in Illinois

Give em a chance and they will "spread forth and be fruitful"...That's what Wisconsin wolves are starting to do in making the trek down into Illinois. Three wolves have been shot recently in President Obama's home state. We can bring back the genetic vibrancy to portions of our Praries if we give the Wolves a chance to tamp down our exploding deer populations. Many have spoken about creating a "Prarie Commons" where once again, the buffalo will roam, the deer and the antelope will play(with some landscape integrity) and the wolves will howl and "strut their stuff.   I'm all for it!!!!!!!!!

jaguar Critical habitat champion

Arizona Jaguar Biologists, Tony Povilitis and Dustin Becker explain fully about what USFWS Critical Habitat Designation provides for animals that are threatened/ this case the Jaguar. The USFWS has said that they will create Critical habitat for the Jaguar in the USA but Tony and Dustin are concerned that the Service is hedging on the size of the habitat rationalizing that "El Tigre" historically existed in only small patches in Arizona and New Mexico. We now know that within the past 150-200 years, Jaguars bred and  occupied California(up to San Francisco), Colorado and even as far East as Louisiana and Florida ....perhaps as far north as the Southern Appalachian Mountains. To artificially constrain the Jaguars return to the USA would be wrong. Tony and Dustin point out that the Northern Mexico "Jag" population needs an expanding range to breed if they are to remain viable. A USA habitat across the Southern third of our Country gives the Jaguar the needed connective space to keep it's most Northern population healthy and fulfilling it's ecological niche. Critical habitat for large keystone predators helps ensure living space for the whole suite of living organisms that exist in a particular range. The benefit for all creatures including ourselves is that that the land regains its  vigor and vitality. We need USFWS to have foresight, compassion and empathy in optimizing  the scope of wildness(and therefore health) for the Jaguar.

Stewart Udall........bipartisan conservationist dies

I came to know something about Stewart Udall as a College student at Ohio University in the mid 70's. Interior Secretary under Kennedy and Johnson, Udall was a passionate collaborator with Republican and Democratic Congressman alike, brokering land preservationdeals totaling nearly 4 million acres. As he put it, there was a "big tent"atmosphere in D.C. in the 60's and 70's where all Americans, regardless ofPolitical Party affiliation recognized that for a vibrant economic America to exist, there also had to be a healthy American land ethic.............Where clean air, water,open space and biodiversity were essential elements to be expanded and constantly improved upon. In addition to Kenney and Johnson, Udall worked successfully with Presidents Nixon and Ford as well as Senator Orrin Hatch and Ed Kennedy on the Wilderness,Clean Air and Water Acts. "That was a wonderful time and it lasted for 20 years.""I don't remember a big fight between Republicans and Democrats...there was a consensus that the Country needed more conservation projects(not less) of the kind that we were proposing." "Republicans and Democrats, we all worked together." "Washington has now been overtaken by money.... with people seeking office fighting for contributions from business interests who view environmental protection as a detriment to profit at best."
Listen up Public leaders...................time to return to bi-partisan collaboration on an issue that should not be favored by any one side............We only have one home and we are the only species who thinks it is ok to spoil our own nest. As Tom Friedman writes in his recent best seller, "Hot flat and Crowded"........."everyone in the world now wants to live as a middle class American." Unless we find a sustainable way of accomplishing this, it will be impossible for 7 to 10 billion of us to live in peace and prosperity going forward. 
A salute to Stewart Udall and what he stood for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

a new location of where wolves were first domesticated into dogs

Earlier this past year, Scientists revealed that the first dogs originated in East Asia. This weeks NY Times reveals that a 2nd team of Scientists now postulate that the Mid East was the first location where Wolves were first domesticated into Dogs. Regardless of the exact locale, our "best friend" evolved from wolves..................whose social society mirrors ours in its hierarchies, division of labor, cooperation amongst individuals, dual male/female  youngster rearing and loyalty to family unit.

 Many feel that the first proto-dogsthat evolved from wolves influenced humans to make a living through farming and not just through hunting.Creating fixed villages required security from invaders.  The barking of dogs provided us with an inexpensive and excellent early warning sentry which we could count on to warn us when "the bad guys" were sneaking up on us.

Perhaps dogs also furthered the idea of wealth and accumulation of possessions as a goal. Those of us with more dogsbeing seen as wealthier than our neighbor, and thus allowing us to barter for other type of material needs ...................Long live all the canids, may there many genes provide us with new and unforseen benefits overthe years ahead.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Coyotes pioneering in New York City

My totem animal, the Eastern Coyote(Coywolf) is pushing the envelope and seeking to pioneer our most dense metropolis. Over the past 5 years, there has been at least 5 sightings of Canis lycaon(x)latrans in Manhattan, with the most recent being Wednesday night March 3 on the West Side Highway(the others in January in Central Park and on the campus--getting educated, they were--of Columbia University. Pushing down from Westchester County and the Bronx, these young male Coywolves are seeking their own territories after dispersing from their natal families. Given the chance, they would set up shop in the city parks and along the shoulders of the East and Hudson Rivers....perhaps choosing a Revolutionary War cemetary or two in lower Manhattan adjacent to some of NYC's historic Churches. Dining would not be a problem with the 6 million rats(equal to the human population of the City), alley cats and squirrels providing a smorgasboard of necessary protein, fat and carbs.  Virtually every City in America has a coyote population at this point...they finding abandoned building sites and factory buildings as other suitable housing sites to raise their families. Biologists Jon Way in Boston and Stan Gehrt in Chicago (amongst a score of other noted researchers)will be heard from on "all-things coyote as we travel week to week through "wild America" on this blog. I root for the coyote as I rooted for the American Indian as a kid...Both represent an America comfortable with its natural surroundings....An America that can celebrate its "wildness"...............the wildness that Europeans found both terrifying and intriguing................the wildness that forged our pioneer "anything can be accomplished" spirit........the wildness that we feature on our State flags(Grizzly in California), nickname our ballclubs (Minnesota Timberwolves) and designate our automobiles(Mercury's Cougar) is the wildness that we need to celebrate as we continue to employ all types of technology in the quest for wealth and success. The coywolf/coyote represents sustainability for both now and the long term--necessary qualities for us to hold onto and cherish as go about forging our path into the 21st Century and beyond.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Living successfully with coyotes

Your humble authors tomb to coyotes.................Whether they be the historical  25 to 35 pound "brush wolves" of our Great Plains and Midwest or as my friend Jon Way of Massachusetts calls our Northeastern 35 to 50 pounders--Coywolves(Eastern coyote). My case to my Southern California community to not trap, poison and kill our neighboring coyotes. They are like us human animals in their ability to problem solve, persist and thrive even when the chips are down. Let us admire them for their intellingence and function in our natural system. 

Our domestic pets causing wildlife havoc and imbalance in our natural systems

We are all excited and proud when our pet dogs and cats greet us with their kill of the day..................the bird or small rabbit, squirrel or vole that has been the  object of their attention while loose in your garden or adjacent woodland or meadow. When you multiply your pets by 100 million + USA  households, you suddenly realize that your canine/feline best friend is extinguishing the diversity and density of our wild fauna. Our wooded suburbs, converted farmland  communities and chaparral mountain hamlets are the perfect edge environments where our pets wreck havoc on wildlife. If we want to delight to the birds in our birdbath and red foxes in our Parks and yards, we have to reign in our pets and not let them have the run of our open spaces. While some see this as cruel, fenced in dog and cat runs will allow for all of our fauna, both domestic and wild to persist, giving us pleasure on multiple levels. And as many of us know, free roaming cats and dogs are tempting treats for our now nationwide coyote population to dine on. Lets keep the dogs and cats on a leash.......................let the coyotes dine on the small mammals, rodents and deer that they are supposed to.......................lets keep all the "cogs in the wheel" so as to have a wide representative population of all of natures creations.  

Purebred Bison expansion?

Most of us are aware that we nearly exterminated the millions of Bison that existed from the Plains States clear across to our Eastern Appalachians by the dawn of the 20th Century. Many of us know that we staved off total extinction by saving a couple herds of these magnificent grazers in places like Yellowstone Park. What most of us do not know is that the Yellowstone Bison herd is one of a handful of purebred Bison exisiting in North America. Many of the other remnant Buffalo groups are hybrids with both Bison and domestic cattle genes. These "crosses" were bred for ranching with Stockmen feeling that they would be more maleable and easier to manage. With it historically felt that Bison transmit Brucellosis to cattle which causes them to abort calves, the purebred bison of yellowstone have been restricted from roaming outside the confines of the Park, with the result being outright slaughter of those animals who defy our man-made boundaries and seek available winter range grassland outside Yellowstone. Ted Turner who is the largest landowner in the USA with conservation easements on all of his million plus acre ranches has agreed to take in some of the so called surplus purebreds and prevent the annual shooting of these "Lords of the Prarie". The only problem is that some fear that Ted will breed these purebred with his existing "crossed" bison and thereby not truly expanding the range of these magnificent creatures. Never easy with "conservation transplanting"..............always competing agendas with ususally the animals as losers.

Wolverines were present in at least 24 States between 1800 - 2005

Our most reclusive and threatened North American predator is the wolverine. Capable of  fighting off "griz" and to kill mountain goats and caribou, our largest member of the weasel family is a 30 pound muscled omnivore who dines on meat and fruit. As recent as 1800, the wolverine was spread over 24 of our northern States from the Pacific Coast Mountains to The Rocky's, across the Great Plains, Great Lakes and even into New York, Pennsylvania and on up into New England. Today, the wolverine is only a resident in Washington, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming--in extremely limited populations--truly in need
of critical habitat protection. A true indicator of Wilderness conditions, the Wolverine has become very sensitive to contact with human activities, fleeing from alpine ski areas, snowmobile trails and any sizeable population centers.  Spring snow cover that persists through the wolverine denning period seems to be the one habitat condition that must exist for populations to occur. Apparently, snow dens created for weaning young of the year provide critical insulation that helps kits survive upon being born. While we have experienced a 2010 snowy winter in the East and sections of the West, it is a fact that snow melt is occurring earlier and earlier at Winters end. The Little Ice Age that brought severe cold to America from the Renaissance period up and through the mid 1800's encouraged the wolverines persistance across our
Northern latitudes. Large wild regions we may still be able to preserve but colder temperatures we seem to be pushing farther and farther away due to our fossil fuel burning. While the skeptics among us mock the Academy of Sciences, NASA and others for their warming predictions, newspapers just reported last week that 2010 was the warmest Winter on record, despite the snowfall in certain sectors. The wolverine needs traditional winter cold and i for one hope that we find the way to optimize that happening again.