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Wolverines in the Sierra

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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:48 am

They are out there....but are far-and-few-between. I know a few of the old timers have seen them, and back when trapping was legal in Calf, someone would catch one here or there. The few critters still out there have become very elusive to people, and most folks sense of surroundings and general knowledge of animal behavior allow nearly all encounters to go unnoticed. With that said….I have never seen anything including tracks in the winter where I would conclude wolverine. I think most Mustelidae “weasel” family type just have bad attitudes and do not care for people. In addition, I think they including porcupines and otters are disappearing rapidly, and are moving into deeper less traveled areas of the Sierra.



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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby Buck Forester » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:48 pm

I think wolverines are Bigfoot pets.
It's all about the WILDERNESS!!!

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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby AldeFarte » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:43 pm

I like the idea of this critter making it's way back to the brown bearless republic. They are a neat critter. I can see their tracks within a 15 min. walk in 2 directions. They have a unique physiology and an immence range when they take to the wander. They go where they go. And they are tireless. I think the expanding of the cougar range has made this possible. Which leaves more leavings for the wolverine. They have a GREAT nose and they will find a carcass ,if there is one in the hood. I do not think that the presence of people detour their habits. jls
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby gdurkee » Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:19 pm

AldeFarte is right. Wolverine are probably the coolest critter around, certainly in the Sierra. As much time as I've spent in the backcoutry, I've never seen one and may have only seen sign once. A wildlife biologist friend of mine speculated that their decline may, in addition to fur trapping that was pretty intensive into the 30s, have been due to the decline in Bighorn Sheep. I guess they depend on carrion a lot and dead sheep were a source of food for them. It's actually hard to reconcile that theory with the parallel increase in dead horses and other Euro-introduced grazing animals, but it's an interesting theory.

As I mentioned earlier, there are pretty reliable sightings from the southern Sierra -- Sequoia Kings -- so I know they're still around, just don't make themselves known.

Another note: like Bad Man I'm becoming interested in the possible decline of porcupines. This has not been looked at by anyone, as far as I know. A couple of research scientists I know are also concerned. I would encourage those of you out hiking this summer to report any porcupine sightings to what's becoming a pretty good repository for natural history data: http://inaturalist.org/ Almost 2,000 observations now!

If you see one in Yosemite or Sequoia Kings, see if you can find a ranger to report it to or just send me a note on pm.

Thanks!

g.
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby hikerduane » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:15 pm

It's kinda funny to me. The photos were taken close to where evil SPI property is and was logged recently. Any mention of widespread protection sounds ludicrous to me. If they have suddenly appeared after having been thought to be nonexistent around here, why the need to rope off vast areas of land? They have shown up, despite what WE think THEY need! Sounds like they need more territory than the California Spotted owl which is threatened more by its cousin, the Eastern Spotted owl than logging. Maybe they should close off I-80, 50, 70, 88, 36 among other highways and make everyone go thru SoCal to get anywhere. If the spotted owl can live in a active saw mill (Happy Camp) I believe, they should be ok out on their own.
Piece of cake.
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:24 am

As gdurkee said.....If you see a porcupine or in addition, an otter out there, try to report it to someone. I want to add one thing, try to photograph it and document where the encounter occurred. As for wolverines, there are probably a lot of reasons for their decline in the Sierra. However, unless a viable “population” is discovered to exist, I don’t see any land use exclusions occurring due to habitat concerns. It is ironic that the documented sighting occurred on SPI land. Apparently, the critter made it through the year and was sighted again a couple weeks ago.

As Buck Forester said earlier, they are probably Big Foot pets. I suspect they tamed down a little during the introduction of wilderness to their habitat. I think the wilderness regulations subdued their nature such that a Big Foot would finally be able to wrangle and tame one :bear: !
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Wayward wolverine returns to Sierra

Postby ERIC » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:31 pm

Wayward wolverine returns to Sierra

The Monterey County Herald
Posted: 02/27/2010 01:35:05 AM PST
Updated: 02/27/2010 01:35:05 AM PST
http://www.montereyherald.com/state/ci_14483225



TRUCKEE (AP) — Nearly a century after they were thought to be extinct in the Sierra Nevada, a wolverine has shown up for the third year in a row in the woods north of Lake Tahoe.

Scientists are doing new tests, but they believe it is the same one that a graduate student at the University of California's Sagehen Field Station first spotted in February 2008 near Truckee.

The same lone predators related to weasels and skunks showed up last winter about 15 miles away on logging land owned by Sierra Pacific Industries.

This winter, the wolverine showed up about 10 miles from where it was photographed last winter, said Mark Pawlicki, director of corporate affairs and sustainability for Sierra Pacific Industries.

Motion-activated cameras captured photos and video of the wolverine last month, and bristle-brushes have collected fur — which gave scientists genetic material to confirm the mammal is male, and most likely from the Northern Rockies.

"We have a new sample to see if the most recent encounter is the same animal, but biologists think it's the same based on markings," Pawlicki said.

"It's just very curious how did he get here?" he said. "We don't have a lot of data, but we know he goes a long ways."

Wolverines were believed to have gone extinct in the Sierra as early as the 1920s.

A study last spring concluded the one that has returned to the Sierra most likely came from Idaho.

The findings of 10 federal, state and university
scientists published in Northwest Science showed the predator was most closely related to the Rocky Mountain population.

Researchers said the results show a 73 percent confidence level in the conclusion the animal most likely came from Idaho. By comparison, the wolverine had less than a 5 percent probability of belonging to most other North American wolverine populations evaluated.
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby gdurkee » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:13 pm

Even though this study:

http://sierranaturenotes.com/naturenote ... I_2007.htm

concluded there were no Wolverine left in the Sierra, there are just too many good observations for both Yosemite & Sequoia Kings to dismiss them from hanging on. For Sequoia Kings, there's what seems a good sighting every 3 years or so -- especially in the Tyndall to Rock Creek area. I don't believe they're extirpated from the Sierra, though I guess it's possible that, like the Tahoe sighting, they're coming from somewhere else.

But, happy to see this one is back (assuming it's the same one from two years ago).

g.
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby gdurkee » Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:37 am

Ha! He's back. Pretty good story, some short film and a map of his range so far:

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/02/20/341652 ... -roam.html

Edit: This just in. A friend of mine sent a note that he saw a wolverine in Kings Canyon at the top of the Don Cecil trail on Lookout Peak in 2008. He was with another Sequoia park worker and both confirm it. They're both very good observers and I would absolutely trust this sighting. There have been sightings in that same area every few years for decades. The question is, where are they coming from? The sightings are frequent enough (though we're still only talking one every 3 to 5 years for all of Sequoia Kings) that there's a population somewhere.

g.
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby rlown » Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:25 pm

kinda sucks if it doesn't have a mate.
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:34 am

Oh...where there is one, there is another. The critter just needs to figgue out how to get accross the highway!
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby rlown » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:20 pm

funny how the cameras don't capture bigfoot. :D
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