- What is the status of the wolverine? Is it endangered or threatened in the U.S.? What is its worldwide status?
- What is the taxonomic classification of the wolverine?
- Does the wolverine have a natural enemy?
- Do wolverines hibernate?
- Is the wolverine a relative of the weasel?
- When is the breeding season of the wolverine?
- Can the wolverine climb trees?
- Is the Tasmanian devil a relative of the wolverine?
- Is the wolverine nocturnal?
- How much does a wolverine weigh?
- Are wolverines carnivorous?
- How large are wolverines when they are born?
- Does the wolverine have any other common names?
Within the U.S., the wolverine is not currently federally listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, although the US Fish and Wildlife Service has recently found the wolverine warranted for listing. Click here to see the Proposed Rule to List the North American Wolverine.
The USDA Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management classify the wolverine as a Sensitive Species. Various States have their own classifications dependent on how they view the status of the wolverine. The World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) Animals Database holds information on threatened species and others of conservation concern. Part of this database is used to generate The IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals.
The IUCN (International Union of Conservation and Nature) Red List classifies the wolverine as follows:
Species: Gulo gulo
Common Name: Wolverine
Red List Classification: VU A2c (Mustelid Specialist Group)
Distribution: Canada, Estonia, Finland, Mongolia, Norway, Russia, Sweden, USA
1994 IUCN Red List Categories:
VULNERABLE (VU) A taxon is Vulnerable when it is not Critically Endangered or Endangered but is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future, as defined by:
A) Population reduction in the form of…
2) A reduction of at least 20%, projected or suspected to be met within the next ten years or three generations, whichever is the longer, based on…
The most widely accepted classification of the wolverine is:
Subspecies: gulo (Old World), luscus (New World) – possibly, vancouverensis and other isolated subspecies not yet identified.
The mountain lion, wolf, and bear are predators of the wolverine. However, the human is recognized as the primary predator of the wolverine.
No. The wolverine is active year-around.
Yes. The wolverine is the largest land dwelling member of the weasel family.
Breeding season occurs from June through August. The species exhibits delayed implantation and the young, known as “kits or cubs”, are typically born during February and March.
Yes. Although not considered to display arboreal behavior, the wolverine can adequately climb trees.
No. The Tasmanian devil is a marsupial in the family Dasyuridae. The wolverine is a carnivore in the family Mustelidae (weasel family). They may resemble each other physically, however they are distinctly different.
No. The wolverine is active day and night, all year long.
There is sexual dimorphism in the wolverine, with a typical adult female weighing 8-10 kg (17.6-22 lbs.) and adult male 12-19 kg (26.4 – 41.8 lbs.). We are not aware of a documented weight of a wild adult in excess of 20.5 kg (45 lbs.). The largest individual (male) that we are aware of weighed 25 kg (55 lbs.) and was born and raised in captivity.
Yes. The wolverine is carnivorous and its food habits are weighted to scavenging. However, it does consume some vegetation e.g., berries.
Wolverine “kits or cubs” are typically 110-120mm (4.33″-4.72″) in length and weigh 100-145 g (3.5-5.11 ounces) at birth. They are covered with white natal hair, their eyes are closed and they are truly altricial.
Yes. Some of the names that are still used in North America include; carcajou, skunk bear, Indian devil and ommeethatsees (Cree word, pronounced omaydatcheese).