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Wolverines in the Sierra

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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby hikerduane » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:25 pm

I'd swear I saw a wolverine in a part of Yosemite in the last 15 years or less. Good to know I may not be crazy. More a coppery color than what was caught on film, but about that size.
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby Troutdog 59 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:07 pm

Very cool indeed! I would figure there are more of them, just wary of humans. In fact, I thought I read that they had found more than 1 near Tahoe, but maybe I was mistaken. Similar to Georges observations, a friend of mine reported seeing one in the upper Hilton Creek Lakes in the early to mid 90's. He didn't see it for long and wasn't entirely certain of what it was, but his first thought was a wolverine. He's not a biologist (he's a geologist), but he reported his sighting to the FS office in Bishop and they took some notes on his sighting and his contact info. A few weeks later, a FS Biologist contacted him and told him he was not the first to report a sighting in that area. His sighting was listed as unsubstantiated, but seems plausible too me especially with the acknowledgment of previous sightings.

It makes one kind of wonder just how it is determined that something should be listed extinct/extirpated and how convinced we should be of the findings. I'm not trying to be overly critical, I just wonder how many hours are spent looking for a certain species prior to listing it as gone. Without the technology of remote cameras, how likely would it be for even a well trained biologist to spot something like this in an area as vast as the mountain ranges of our state? I would think the chances would be minuscule at best. I recall another thread recently on this board about a similar find concerning the Sierra Red Fox, a species I have to admit I didn't even know existed. Almost the same story. Thought to have been extirpated from CA in all areas but one near Lassen since the mid 20's, but now they are reporting several sightings using remote activated cameras. Just makes you wonder if we truly are a smart as we think.
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby ERIC » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:22 am

I watched "National Geographic - Wild Phantom Wolverine (2010)" last night on Netflix. Recommended for those who have not seen it. Google search of the title resulted in a few places where I believe you can watch it for free online. Unreal how much winter territory these animals can cover with ease and in such short order.
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby Troutdog 59 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:28 pm

It appears he is back part II has haapened as theres been another wolverine sighting up north in the Donner area. A camper/backpacker ??? got a photo of a Wolverine near Lake Spaulding (same general area as the previous sighting). Probably the same one, but I do hope its a different animal. Always thought such things to be pretty darned cool!!!I Heres a link to the story in the Sac Bee.

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/07/454561 ... apped.html
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

R. Trower
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby austex » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:46 am

I can confirm a wolverine in between North Lake and Piute Pass in the late 70's. Nothing since though. They are cool and wary of humans.
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby sierraholic » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:55 pm

I'll go to the grave swearing my wife and I saw one crossing 395 near Big Smokey Flat just a few miles north of the turn off for Mammoth Lakes. It crossed 100 ft. in front of our car, and we both said "What the hell was that!" Not a week later on TV was a documentary on wolverines. We both looked at each other and realized that is exactly what we saw. I live only 60 miles from where the only documented wolverine has been sighted. I would love to camp out there north of Castle Peak for a few days, and see if he or she shows up. Awesome!
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby tarbuckle » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:55 am

Back in the 80's I spotted what I thought at the time was a Badger,It was in logging slash above Weber Lake on the way to Lake of the Woods ( North of Truckee). Seeing how Badgers are a grassland inhabitant, who's knows? It could have been a Wolverine.
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby Cheetahwoka » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:12 am

I happened to see a documentary recently on PBS about wolverines. Now that I've seen images of them, I believe it's possible a wolverine is what I saw a couple years ago in Sequoia NP in the Kaweah drainage (didn't see any dots in the Kaweah drainage on the sightings map, so that would be a first). The last month or so I've been researching on the web... looking at photos of martins, fishers, badgers, wolverines..reading about wolverines and the rest. To eliminate other possibilities. To be more sure. I think it's time I called someone at SEKI in Ash Mt. to report it.

Mr. Durkee, on page one of this thread, you said you wrote something in 2008 I think, with a map, etc. but the links are dead. Are your reports available to read somewhere? Also, who do you think would be the most interested in my sighting? Graber? Maybe I should mention it to the Institute for Wildlife Studies in Arcata, too.

I saw a martin in Ionian Basin, too, more than 10 years ago. That was a thrill, especially when I figured out what it was.

The animal I believe was a wolverine looked most like the photo on the right, here: http://sierranaturenotes.com/naturenote ... I_2007.htm. When I first saw it, I thought, "That looks like a bear cub, with a beautiful blond vee on it's upper chest/neck. But wait! What's that fluffy tail?! That's not a bear!" The animal was very dark, blackish even.

I suppose if more folks with sightings reported them, the Powers that Be might be more convinced they are out there. There are probably plenty of folks like me who just hold that special image in their memories, but don't think of how important it may be to report it.
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby Cheetahwoka » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:41 pm

Well, I reported my sighting to the SEKI wildlife biologist, and he was very happy I did so, and will add it to his data and map. He said he wished more folks with sightings would report them.

He also said that there was another sighting of a wolverine reported less than a mile from where my sighting was. Turns out that was in 1906 by the famous Walter Fry...
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby OwensKid » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:13 pm

Last seen in the 20's? Gone from the southern Sierra?

August of 1976 I was camped at the north end of Chocolate Lake #2 and spotted one running along the near opposite shore from me where I was fishing and watched it for a full minute if not longer before it headed up the creek to lake #3. No telling how long it had been watching me.

An encounter that is as clear to me today as it was nearly 40 years ago and I am positive it was a wolverine.
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby John Dittli » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:59 pm

gdurkee wrote: On the other hand, a winter tracking study a few years back found no evidence of them and the biologist doing the study concluded, incorrectly I believe, that they were extinct in the Sierrag.


I was involved in that study, as we checked the camera traps during the winter while on snow surveys. What was interesting is that there were virtually no carnivore of any kind near the traps. So the study really concludes that there are no carnivores left in the Sierra at all...LOL.

What is also interesting is that we have never seen any sign of Wolverine in the snow over the decades; lots of coyote and Pine Martin.

SSSDave- if you want to see more Martin, hang out in the Mammoth Lakes Basin. We used to have one come to the front door of our cabin regularly!
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Postby Cheetahwoka » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:56 am

Yay! I saw a pair of Pine Martins in the talus next to one of the lakes in the Wright Creek watershed (above the Kern), a couple weeks ago. The only other time was also in the talus, above a lake in Ionian Basin. May you have many babies.
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