Thursday, July 26, 2018

Oxford University Press is pleased to announce a partnership with the American Ornithological Society

American Ornithology
Don't miss the latest AOS History of #Ornithology blog post

Don't miss the latest AOS History of blog post

Oxford University Press is pleased to announce a partnership with the American Ornithological Society
to publish @AukJournal and @CondorJournal. @AmOrnith 

  Jun 21



Carbofuran, acute toxin no longer sold in the U.S., identified as source of Bald Eagle deaths in Maryland. Via :

Saturday, June 16, 2018

wolf vs. wolverine wildlife encounter

Three subsequent videos provide the narrative of one remarkable vs. wildlife encounter! 

Watch below as a wolverine feeding on a moose carcass is attacked and ultimately chased off by a wolf.

Wolverine attack on reindeer in Indre Troms (Norway) 

via @YouTube

Friday, June 15, 2018

Wolverine attack on reindeer in Indre Troms (Norway)


Video of a wovlerine attacking and harming a reindeer. We can see that the reindeer is fighting a lot against the wolverine, and it is in the end escaping with large wounds.

Filmed during a blizzard with mobile camera, so there is a lot of snowdust and distortion. The video is still extremely rare, and it is hard to find similar video of wolverines hunting.

Published on Mar 27, 2017


Friday, May 25, 2018

Judge Orders Review of Decision Not to Treat Wolverines as Endangered.

A wolverine in the Bridger Mountains north of Bozeman, Mont. A federal court ruling revived the debate over whether the animal, a member of the weasel family, is endangered. Credit Daniel J. Cox/


Judge Prods Wildlife Service on Protection for Wolverines

HELENA, Mont. — Because it depends on heavy spring snowpack to excavate dens and safely raise its young near the top of mountain peaks high in the northern Rockies, the wolverine is on the front lines of battles over the effects of climate change.
There is less snow in the Rockies these days, and researchers forecast that in the coming decades, the wolverines in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming may disappear with the snowpack. Only about 300 of the animals are in the lower 48 states. In 2014, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service refused to list the animal for endangered species protection, calling the science inconclusive.
The debate over protection for the reclusive animal, the largest in the weasel family, has been going on for about 20 years, and it was revived this week by a federal court ruling here in Montana.
Chief Judge Dana L. Christensen of United States District Court for Montana on Monday rebuked the agency in a lengthy court decision, citing the “immense political pressure that was brought to bear” by Western states on the question of whether to list the wolverine, rather than relying on sound science. The states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, along with the petroleum industry and other groups, have opposed granting the wolverine the designation of a threatened species.
Judge Christensen ordered the agency to go back and reconsider its reasoning under the Endangered Species Act. (During the trial, the judge noted that he had seen the elusive animal three times.)
“No greater level of certainty is needed to see the writing on the wall for this snow-dependent species standing squarely in the path of global climate change,” Judge Christensen wrote. “It’s the undersigned’s view that if there is one thing required of the service under the E.S.A. it is to take action at the earliest possible, defensible point in time to protect against the loss of biodiversity within our reach as a nation. For the wolverine, that time is now.”


Wolverine tracks in a snowfield at Glacier National Park. There are only about 300 of the animals in the lower 48 states. Credit Lauren Grabelle for The New York Times

The decision not to list, the judge wrote, “was arbitrary and capricious.”
But Dan Ashe, the director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, adamantly denied that the decision was based on anything but science. “I cannot disagree more strongly,” he said. The judge “made a sweeping statement about political interference for which there is not a shred of evidence.”
The wolverine is a cryptic, reclusive animal, he said, and definitive science is lacking. In February 2013, the agency proposed listing the wolverine as a threatened species, a lesser designation than endangered.
But Mr. Ashe, in describing the service’s decision in 2014 against protections for the wolverine, said: “We were presented with inconclusive scientific information and decided against the listing. The wolverine is not at risk of extinction, which is different than saying the wolverine is not going to be affected by a changing climate.”
Still, scientific experts and environmental groups who filed the lawsuit said they were dismayed that the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision appeared to be political and welcomed the judge’s decision.
“It’s not just a win for the species, but a win for science,” said Matthew Bishop, a lawyer for the Western Environmental Law Center here, which challenged the decision on behalf of 22 groups. “Five papers said there’s a significant connection between wolverines and climate change and not a single one suggested there isn’t. They chose to disregard the science.”
There is a disagreement about the impact of climate change on wolverines, but “instead of having a debate, the tactic they chose was to discredit the science and the scientists personally,” said Jeff Copeland, a former wolverine biologist for the Forest Service and one of the researchers on key papers about the relationship between wolverines and deep snow. He now does research for the Wolverine Foundation.
Existing research on the animal is clear, he said. “Wolverines don’t reproduce in the absence of snow,” he said. “Climate change is going to have a real impact on wolverines.”

Sign Up for the Science Times Newsletter

Every week, we'll bring you stories that capture the wonders of the human body, nature and the cosmos.

Wolverines raise their young in dens they dig deep in the snow in an ecological niche between rock and ice and the tree line, tunneling and living down there with their cubs until about the second week of May. While much is unknown, experts say that as the snow season grows shorter, the wolverine may no longer be able to den and reproduction will most likely decline.
The genetic variability in so small a population is also a concern. Other threats include trapping. As a scavenger, the wolverines often gets caught in traps set for other animals, and Montana would like to allow trappers to take the animal.
Wolverines are also sensitive to intrusions in the high country by recreationists, especially with snowmobiles. Some snowmobile groups have opposed protections out of concerns that they will block access to the backcountry.
Mr. Copeland said that he was working on a wolverine project in the Teton Mountains of Wyoming, where recreational use is heavy, and a team had only been able to trap one male, even though there were as many as eight or 10 animals there not long ago.
The wolverine, sometimes referred to as the mountain devil, is a one-of-a-kind creature, earning respect and admiration from those who study it. Males weigh less than 40 pounds, but are extremely fierce, often fight well above their weight, and have been known to kill an adult bull moose.
“They have an insatiable need to keep moving,” Mr. Copeland said, and they wander wide in their search for food across the rocks and snow of the mountains, sometimes traveling as much as 25 miles in a day.
“The wolverine is a tremendous character,” wrote the naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton in the 1920s, “a personality of unmeasured force, courage and achievement.”


Related Coverage

Washington’s wolverines stage tenuous comeback

Washington’s wolverines stage tenuous comeback

The carnivores are recolonizing the northern Cascades, but they face an uncertain climate future.

Ben Goldfarb March 2, 2015 Web Exclusive

On February 1, in the snow-cloaked reaches of the northern Cascade Range in Washington, John Rohrer and Scott Fitkin cracked open the lid of a log cabin-shaped trap and, with a jabstick, anaesthetized the snarling wolverine within.

Once the animal had fallen unconscious, Rohrer, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Forest Service, and Fitkin, a district biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, worked quickly. The two scientists and their crew measured and weighed the wolverine, photographed its teeth and chest markings, and gave it a shot of penicillin to fight infections. They monitored its vitals; if its body grew too hot, they were ready to tuck snow into its armpits. Most importantly, they fitted its neck with a radio-collar containing a satellite transmitter, whose readings would provide crucial information about the animal’s movements.

Washington Department of Fish + Wildlife

Government Organization

· February 2 ·

We worked with the U.S. Forest Service last week to trap and satellite-telemetry-equip the first study animal of the 2015 season of the ongoing North Cascades Wolverine Research project to learn more about this elusive species. Our Okanogan district wildlife biologist Scott Fitkin says the new 30-pound male wolverine, coming out the trap near Easy Pass in this video by David Bowden of USFS, might be the new dominant male in the heart of the study area, since “Logan” dispersed last winter.

Forty-five minutes later, the wolverine sprang from the trap with a throaty growl. Fitkin, watching the 30-pound mustelid bound into the wilderness, wondered if there was perhaps a new sheriff in town. “It was clear he’d been around for a while, and he had a pretty big frame on him,” Fitkin recalls. “We thought, okay, this might be the region’s new dominant male.”

Even 20 years ago, a flourishing wolverine population would have seemed unlikely in the North Cascades. The creatures were eradicated from Washington by the early 1900s, the victims of trapping and poisoning. In the 1990s, however, tracks and camera traps began testifying to their renewed presence. Keith Aubry, a scientist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, became convinced that the recolonization was worth studying. In 2006, Aubry and his team collared a female named Melanie and a male named Rocky — the first two wolverines ever monitored in the Pacific states, and the initial study subjects in what was to become a decade-long, 15-wolverine tracking program.

Aubry’s first task was to figure out where the immigrants were coming from. He initially assumed they’d wandered west from the northern Rockies, where a few hundred wolverines roam Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. But DNA testing suggested that the northern Cascade colonists may have had a very different place of origin: the rugged coastal mountains of British Columbia. Washington’s wolverines, it appeared, represented the southern vanguard of a Canadian population, which was now recolonizing the species' historic Pacific Northwest range.

Wolverines have slowly begun to recolonize the northern Cascades. Camera trap photo courtesy of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

In fact, all the western United States' wolverines may come from Canadian stock. Last year, Aubry and colleagues published a continent-wide analysis of wolverine genetics, which suggested that Gulo gulo had been completely wiped out from the contiguous United States by the early 20th century. America’s wolverines, then, likely descend from British Columbia and Alberta migrants, which began trickling down into the Lower 48 once the persecution ended.

America’s wolverines are, therefore, a remarkable wildlife success story, and their dispersal abilities an illustration of why habitat connectivity matters. In 2008, an Idaho native dubbed Buddy rambled 500 miles into California’s Sierra Nevada, where the creatures once flourished; the next year, a wolverine trekked from Grand Teton to Colorado. Wolverines hadn’t been spotted in either place since before the Great Depression.

Though the northern Cascades’ twenty-odd wolverines haven’t meandered quite that far, at least five different animals have wandered south of State Highway 2. Only one wolverine has been detected beyond I-90, but biologists hope that a series of wildlife underpasses and bridges — some completed, others planned — will allow the carnivores to someday make the trip. “How this is going to play out, where it’s going to end, is still an unknown,” says Aubry, whose tracking project is finally concluding this year. “This is essentially a giant regional experiment.”

No wildlife management story would be complete, however, without an ironic twist. Even as wolverines’ immediate prospects look bright, their long-term prognosis remains worrisome. The mustelids famously raise their kits in snow dens, selecting sites where snowpack lingers well into spring; such sites will almost certainly become more scarce as the climate warms. One 2011 study, also co-authored by Aubry, suggested that suitable wolverine habitat “will likely be greatly reduced and isolated” by the end of the century.

Despite the alarming forecast, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently declined to list the species as threatened, citing scientific uncertainty about whether the disappearance of snowpack will truly limit the animals’ population. A consortium of environmental groups filed a lawsuit challenging the decision in November 2014.

Ultimately, the wolverine’s greatest foe may be our cognitive dissonance around global warming. “A lot of people say that it doesn’t make sense: ‘You’re saying climate change is a big threat, yet they’re currently expanding their range?’” Aubry says. “But these processes are happening on completely different temporal scales.” For all his success, the North Cascades’ new dominant male — and the rest of the country’s wolverines — may still be waiting for the other climatic shoe to drop.

Ben Goldfarb is a Seattle-based correspondent for High Country News.

Follow @ben_a_goldfarb

U.S. Fish & Wildlife
U.S. Forest Service
Scientific Research
Endangered Species

More from Washington

Fishers recolonize Washington, part of a Northwest rewilding
Ending the murrelet malaise

Most Popular Stories

Recent Comments

Early season snowpack falls short across the West
Will the Little Shell tribe finally be recognized?
Fishers recolonize Washington, part of a Northwest rewilding
He didn’t die with dignity (so I threw a party)
Colorado citizens can now report health problems from oil & gas

Today's Featured Stories

Playing the Alaska card

Why being a good neighbor is a good idea

Is the West prepared for climate change?

HCN Featured Classifieds

The National Wildlife …

The National Wildlife Federation's (NWF) South Central Regional office, located in Austin, TX seeks a qualified, highly motivated individual to …more

Residential Ranch …

Southern New Mexico - Spanning 72,000 acres of private, public, & conservation land this rural community includes 34 custom homes, miles of trails, …more