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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, July 29, 2018

“Wolverines are like ghosts in the lower 48 states"............."Needing terrain that has low human density and long lasting Springtime snowfall cover, there are only 249-626 of our "toughest pound-for-pround" carnivore roaming the northern Rocky Mountain States, northern California, Oregon and Washington State................."Wolverines will scavenge on carrion, but also eat plants and berries, and hunt small prey like rabbits and rodents".........................."They have been known to go after larger animals, even the size of caribou, especially if they’re weak or injured"............"Sometimes referred to by the nickname of "Skunk Bears", Wolverines are the largest member of the Mustelidae family, which includes weasels and badgers"............"They are tenacious searching out a meal",,,,,,,,,,,,"They will climb straight up an ice face, and go over the top of a mountain in a storm"..............In short , "they will leap tall buildings in a single bound" to get what they need to survive................Click on the link below to watch the video of the first spotting of a Wolverine on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Central Wyoming , the location of the ongoing Shoshone/Arapaho USFW joint study on Wolverines


Read the full story

Elusive Wolverine Snacks on Deer in rare video--by 

On a bitter cold morning, a bushy-coated
 wolverine bounds through hard-packed snow.
 Its nose has led it to a tree, high on a windy
 ridge in the Wind River Indian Reservation 
in Wyoming.

  Last spring, at this wild spot
 in the Northern Rockies, where the Absaroka 
and Owl Creek 
Mountains meet, a camera caught the whole

The vast 
reservation is 
home to big 
horn sheep,
 moose, and 
wintering elk, besides a host of other 
creatures large and small. 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists,
 on a mission to
 determine if wolverines also live there, placed
 a deer carcass 
in a tree as bait, which, as it turned out,
 worked wonders.
Wolverines will scavenge on such carrion, 
but also eat plants
 and berries, and hunt small prey like 
rabbits and rodents. 
They have been known to go after larger 
animals, even the 
size of caribou, especially if they’re weak 
or injured.
After tearing into the deer, the wolverine 
descends to
 investigate the camera, which it sniffs and 
Then, with a seeming air of confidence, 
rotates it ever
 so slightly to the right.

Curious Creature
“It’s hard not to anthropomorphize,” says acting
 project lead and USFWS biologist Pat Hnilicka,
 who says the animal was likely a breeding-age
 male. “As a biologist, you try not to do that. But
 when you watch the video of him adjusting the
 camera, it’s like ‘holy cow’ what is this guy 
doing?’ It was so striking."

The moment caught on video is “as unique 
and rare” as the wolverine itself, says Hnilicka. 
It’s the first time a wolverine has been captured
 on camera on the reservation. And such
 moments aren’t exactly common anywhere in
 the continental U.S., where there are only
 about 300 wolverines left, according to
 the most recent estimate. (The estimate
 includes a range, however, so the true number 
could be anwhere from 249 to 626 animals.)

It’s not an endangered species, but lives in
 very low densities in remote, desolate areas.

 are like ghosts out there,” 
Hnilicka says. “To catch one on camera—
even just a still photo, would have been
 very, very exciting. To capture that
 behavior on video was really spectacular.”

The sighting has inspired the addition
 of more cameras in support of the study, 
which is part of a larger, ongoing
 collaboration to help the Eastern
 Shoshone and Northern Arapaho
 tribes manage the area’s fish and wildlife.
The same curiosity and drive that led
 the wolverine to investigate the camera
 likely also helps it survive its harsh
 environment, says National Geographic
 Explorer Gregg Treinish, who tracked
wolverines across the northern Rockies
and in Mongolia while working as a field
 biologist. He says, “it’s kind of like
curiosity by necessity.”

Always Exploring

Wolverines, also known as skunk bears,
 are the largest member of the Mustelidae
 family, which includes weasels and
 badgers. They’re known to be strong,
 tenacious and tough, live in a brutal
environment and will do anything to get
to food, says Treinish, founder of the
conservation group Adventure Scientists.
“They are the consummate explorer.
 They’ll climb straight up an ice face,
go over the top of a mountain in a storm
 or traverse any wild and rugged
landscape in order to eat.”
“When it was investigating the camera,
” he adds, “it was probably looking for
 a food source, using one of the
evolutionary traits that it was gifted,
which is curiosity.”
This wolverine was also gifted with a
 bit of stage presence. The final clip
shows him returning to the carcass
 later in the day for another meal.

He tears through the deer’s frozen hide
 with ease then drops to the ground toeat.
 He makes a few trips back up and down
 with help from his impressive
 semi-retractile claws. After glancing up 
at the frozen feast one last time, he rolls
 like a snowball and exits stage left

“Perhaps,” Hnilicka says, “he was just 
feeling good because he had a belly full 
of meat.”

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