Visitor Counter

hitwebcounter web counter
Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

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

Subscribe via email to get updates

Enter your email address:

Receive New Posting Alerts

(A Maximum of One Alert Per Day)

Monday, April 28, 2014

A "hurrah" for the news coming out of the Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks in Canada with the last 5 years of Wolverine research identifying 64 Wolverines, the "toughest pound for pound" carnivore in North America............ 25 females and 39 males discovered roaming this region with 3 of them having DNA markings of Wolverines found in the Western Rockies in the USA.............Part of the research conducted was to determine if Wolverines utilize wildlife crossings and so far that determination is sketchy, with a minimum of 4 Wolverines killed by autos on the Trans Canada Highway over the past 40 years............The hope is that additional research on the Wolverine population will commence in Waterton Lakes National Park region to complete the baseline picture of what needs to be done protection wise to ensure Wolverine perpetuation into the forever .

Mountain parks survey finds

 healthy population of wolverines

Mountain parks survey finds healthy population of wolverines

Tony Clevenger, project manager, says his 

study is looking at how effective wildlife

 crossings at highways are for wolverines.

Photograph by: Stuart Gradon, Calgary Herald, Files ,

 Calgary Herald

An extensive survey in the mountain parks has
discovered at least 64 wolverines - including three
 from a population that has never been found north
 of the U.S. border and another that could have
 travelled from even farther away.

The $1.7-million project, which included Parks
 Canada, the Miistakis Institute in Calgary and
the Western Transportation Institute at Montana
 State University, has wrapped up after starting
 in 2009.
"We identified 64 different individuals," said Tony
 Clevenger, project manager and senior wildlife
research scientist with the Western Transportation
 Institute. He was speaking last week at an event
hosted by the Bow Valley Naturalists in Banff."This
 was a big surprise," he said.
"I don't think anybody thought we'd identify 64

Of the 64, DNA analysis showed there are 25
 females and 39 males, including one male that
was genetically distinct and three others who
came from a population commonly found in the
United States.
The preliminary findings, which will be used to
 monitor and manage the elusive animals, is
believed to be the minimum population of
 wolverines in a 9,000-square-kilometre study
 area that included Banff, Yoho and Kootenay
 national parks, as well as Kananaskis Country
.Clevenger said the research suggests there's
 a good mixing ground for wolverines.

"This is an important core area for wolverines
 at a larger landscape scale," he said. "It's critical
 for the survival of wolverines."
As the largest member of the weasel family,
wolverines are elusive carnivores known for
being sly predators. They weigh only six to 16
 kilograms, but they have razorsharp teeth and
 strong jaws.
The western population is listed as a species
 of special concern by the federal Committee
 on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada
 because of their low reproductive rate and the
 amount of space they require to maintain viable

Alberta also acknowledges the animals could be
at risk and require special management considerations.

Before the project by Clevenger and his team, not
much was known about the wolverines living in
Canada's Rocky Mountains. They are rarely seen
in the wild, but there have been at least four wolverines
 killed on highways in the mountain parks - including two
 on the Trans-Canada Highway and two on Highway 93
in Kootenay National Park - since the 1970s.

Clevenger's research also looked at how effective
wildlife crossings are for the species, but he said
 the data are inconclusive.
So far, he said they have only been captured on
 remote cameras 10 times as they used the
 overpasses and underpasses in BanffNational Park.

"We don't know if they are approaching them and
 not using them," said Clevenger. "A lot of our
 monitoring has been in the lower part of the valley,
 where the valley is wider and there's an active wolf
 pack in the area.

"Wolverines just may not be coming down into the
 valley because of that. It's a pretty risky area for
 them to be crossing over."
The monitoring of the wildlife crossings will now be
 taken over by Parks Canada - which will include
 collection and analysis of data on the wildlife
 using the structures.

"It's part of a larger picture," said Rick Kubian,
 manager of resource conservation with the Lake
 Louise, Yoho and Kootenay field unit. "We've
 established a baseline from which we'll be able
 to move forward and over time be able to understand
 the effectiveness of the crossing structures on a
 species like wolverine."

Research has shown other wildlife are using the
crossing structures.
Kubian said the monitoring work will carry over into
 Kootenay National Park, where three underpasses
 were added last year.
It's believed the highway crossings west of the Castle
 Junction will see more activity by wolverines.

"If they are going to be using crossings, this is where
 we'll expect it," Clevenger said. "In another five years,
 we should hopefully know more."
In a meantime, he said he'd like to take his research
 to the unprotected area between Kananaskis Country
 and Waterton Lakes National Park now that their work
 in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay is complete.
"What we found here is that this is an important corridor
 for wolverines," Clevenger said. "We know that Glacier
and Waterton are important corridors, too.

"It's the area between these two protected area
complexes that we don't really know anything about
wolverines in this area."
There isn't much known about how wolverines cross
 Highway 3, what corridors they move through or how
many spend time in the area.
"To maintain this large and transboundary meta-
population," he said, "we need to start learning
 about wolverines in this area to maintain connectivity
 with the U.S. population."

Last year, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
 announced it would consider protecting the North
 American wolverine as a threatened species. It's
 believed there are only 250 to 300 wolverines in the

No comments: