There is a wolverine in East Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains

Tracks of a male found in the rugged mountain wilderness-

Although it might just be passing through, this is a first for this mountain fastness.

Last summer, my spouse (Jackie) staffed a fire tower on the edge of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, which covers much of the mountain range.

Wallowa Mountains from Deadman Point. Aug. 2010. Copyright Ralph Maughan

The creation of the vast Eagle Cap Wilderness, plus a number of subsequent additions, was a great conservation victory.

Story. Wolverine tracks found for first time in Wallowa County. Researchers seek to answer if animal was loner or part of pack. East Oregonian.
Regarding this headline . . . wolverine don’t form packs.

Feds consider adding wolverines to endangered list

Status Review is a result of a lawsuit

Wolverines are very rare in the Lower 48 but there have been a few notable confirmations of them in Colorado where there is one being tracked by a gps collar and another in California which has been photographed with a remote camera for three consecutive years. They also inhabit Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, and Washington but are under threat from winter disturbance by snowmobiling, and trapping in Montana.

Feds consider adding wolverines to endangered list
By JUDITH KOHLER Associated Press Writer

Lone, lovelorn wolverine baffles scientists

How did a (probable) Idaho wolverine end up in the Sierra of California?

Lone, lovelorn wolverine baffles scientists. By Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer

Rare wolverine spotted in Idaho’s Pioneer Mountains

Rare observation and photo near the top of Idaho’s second highest mountain range-

Hikers see solitary member of the weasel family on east side of range. By Jason Kauffman. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer.

copperbasin7.jpg

The wolverine was near the top of one of the canyons in the distance.
Photo copyright © Ralph Maughan

Wolverines on the move.

Colorado and Washington State see wolverines in new places.

In recent years wolverines have been seen in places where they were not expected. Is this because people are looking for them or are they expanding their range? One wolverine in an isolated location does not mean that there is a sustainable population. There have been reports of radio tagged wolverines which have travelled very long distances across what would seem to be unsuitable habitat.

Recall the wolverine sighted in California on two occasions.

Here are two recent stories about wolverines in Washington State and Colorado.

Wolverine caught on camera on Mount Adams
Seattle Times

After 90 Years, the Wolverine (Just One) Returns to Colorado
New York Times

USFWS to reconsider the wolverine for protected under endangered species act

Earth Justice scores a victory for the wolverine and the Endangered Species Act-

Administration’s new, cramped view of the ESA that a species doesn’t need protection in the United States even though its population is very low and declining if there are some in Canada, Mexico, or wherever.

Agency to reconsider wolverine status. By Susan Gallagher. AP Writer in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Our earlier post on this lawsuit. July 9, 2008. Groups file suit over wolverine protection U.S. wolverines face threats from climate change, other factors, conservation groups say.

Added. Here is the USFWS politically influenced finding that the wolverine did not merit ESA protection.

This particular rejection of protecting a “candidate species” was one of the most dangerous and legally defective decisions of any ESA species status reviews. RM

Study: Wolverine in Sierra most likely from Idaho

Two sightings of the same wolverine in the same area a year apart.

There are very few wolverines in Idaho but they have been known to travel very long distances across fairly diverse landscapes.

Study: Wolverine in Sierra most likely from Idaho
The Associated Press