Wolverines in the Sierra

A place to explore the natural setting (geology, flora & fauna), people, constructed infrastructure and historical events that play and have played a part in shaping the Sierra Nevada as we know it today.
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tarbuckle
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Post by 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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Cheetahwoka
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Post by 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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. 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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Cheetahwoka
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Post by ERIC » Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:34 am

Researchers: Wolverine appears to be thriving in California

By MARTIN GRIFFITH
Published: January 10, 2015


RENO, Nev. (AP) - A wolverine appears to be thriving in the northern Sierra Nevada seven years after being confirmed as the first one in California since 1922, researchers said.

More than two dozen documented sightings of the solitary predator have occurred since it was first observed in March 2008 about 15 miles northwest of Truckee, said Chris Stermer, a biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The same wolverine is believed to have been last detected in November by a motion-sensing camera in the Tahoe National Forest near Fordyce Lake, which is only some 15 miles southwest of where it was originally seen.

The male appears healthy with dense fur and ample weight, Stermer said, and has staked out a 300-square-mile swath of the Sierra between Interstate 80 and Highway 49 as its territory.

"I think it's exciting," he said. "It gives us some hope of bringing back some apex predators like that. It would be exciting to have wolverines back in the Sierra."

Though its DNA has been linked to wolverines in Idaho's Sawtooth Range, biologists are still unsure whether it wandered down to California or was released into the Sierra by someone.

Positive identification of the wolverine spotted Nov. 3 near Fordyce Lake is pending genetic testing by the U.S. Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Research Station in Fort Collins, Colorado. Some of its fur was obtained for the test.

"Based on our history it's most likely going to be the same individual, but our hope is it's not," Stermer said. "Our hope is we have a pair here so they can mate ... We're hoping that one animal turns into a population."

The odds are good over time that some wolverines will venture south to California from Idaho and the Cascades, he added.

Once found throughout the Sierra and Rocky Mountains, wolverines were wiped out across most of the U.S. by the 1930s due to unregulated trapping and poisoning campaigns, said Bob Inman, a wolverine researcher with the Wildlife Conservation Society.

In the decades since, they largely have recovered in parts of the West, where 250 to 300 of the animals live, but not in other parts of their historical range. In the Lower 48, they live primarily in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington. Larger populations persist in Alaska and Canada.

California has the habitat to support higher wolverine numbers, Stermer said, and his agency has discussed the possibility of reintroducing them to the state.

"They avoid residential areas and livestock. There's not a lot of controversy with having wolverines around," he said. "How many pairs can the habitat support? That's the question."

The rarely seen members of the weasel family have a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to their size. Adults are about as big as medium-size dogs.
Read more: http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_268808/conten ... d=i8Dja49b" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Wolverines in the Sierra

Post by Shawn » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:11 am

Some nice video in this recent news story:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyl ... story.html

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