The Wolverine Foundation has proudly supported the Wolverine-Winter Recreation Project, which looked at the effects of motorized and non-motorized backcountry recreation on wolverines. We’re excited to share the final report with you, the people who helped make this work possible. You can read the report here.
On May 4th and 5th, you can support the Wolverine Foundation by participating in Give Big Gallatin Valley. During the event, the Bozeman Area Community Foundation will partially match all donations made to the Wolverine Foundation, increasing the impact of your support for our work. You can view our profile page for the event here.
The Bozeman Area Community Foundation exists to help non-profits that bring benefits to Gallatin County, Montana. TWF is a global organization, but Montana is the heart of wolverine country in the Lower 48, and that includes the many mountain ranges that surround Bozeman. We believe that wildlife brings diverse benefits to the people who are fortunate enough to share the landscape with it, and we hope that Montanans – and other wildlife enthusiasts worldwide – will help us celebrate this.
Thank you for your support!
Today, Judge Dana Christensen overturned the 2014 USFWS decision not to list wolverines, ruling that decision “arbitrary and capricious,” and ordering the USFWS to issue a new decision. The judge’s ruling states that the USFWS failed to adequately consider the effects of both climate change and genetic isolation on the wolverine population in the US Rockies, and that the Service discounted the best available science in reaching the decision not to list.
What does this mean for the status of wolverines in the US? The listing decision has been sent back to the USFWS, and they must issue a new decision. The timeline for this is not yet clear.
The full text of the decision is available here: 16-04-04 Doc. 108 ORDER
For those who are interested in the wolverine policy process and the debate about the science, it’s worth reading through the entire document. Check it out, and enjoy.
In the high and remote world of the wolverine, winter is long and cold with an abundance of light, fluffy snow. Well-adapted for these harsh environments, with its large ‘snowshoe’ feet, thick fur, and endless endurance, this winter mountaineer is constantly moving, searching for food and patrolling its enormous home range. Historically, the wolverine was left to itself to winter in these extreme mountain habitats as most species moved to lower elevations to escape the severe season. This has changed, however, as the popularity of backcountry winter recreation has exploded, with both snowmobilers and skiers seeking remote, pristine slopes with powder snow. The previously quiet landscapes that wolverines prefer are now the play areas for many backcountry recreationists.
This winter the Wolverine-Winter Recreation Project completed 6 intensive years tracking wolverines and winter recreationists to understand how wolverines are responding to this relatively novel intrusion into their lonely regions. The research team has successfully collected impressive amounts of fine-scale movement and habitat use data on both wolverines and winter recreationists – simultaneously as both use such areas. With the field collections now complete, the team must turn its attention to the more arduous phase of data analyses to determine subtle but important responses of wolverines to the possible disturbances created by recreationists. The team now also faces another significant challenge: with the adventurous field work completed, the availability of funds needed to finish this very important work has largely dried up. This is a common dilemma faced by wildlife researchers: funding is available to collect data but not to do the critical analyses that actually transform field collected data sets into robust results to truly advance our understanding of the issues.
Please consider supporting the Wolverine-Winter Recreation Project with a donation to The Wolverine Foundation. All dollars received will go directly to supporting the necessary analyses and outreach required to ensure the results of this study are incorporated into decision-making affecting wolverines and wolverine habitats.
Use a credit or debit card now through the secure link below (no PayPal account required):
1.) After entering your donation amount, please click the “Update Total” link directly below your amount before proceeding.
2.) On the review page, prior to completing your donation, expand the “Donation Purpose” link. This will open a box for listing item name, color choices & quantities if your donation includes donation purchases.
If you prefer, please mail your contribution to:
The Wolverine Foundation, Inc.
4444 Packsaddle Road
Tetonia, Idaho, USA 83452