Gulo gulo - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Wolverine
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Gulo gulo (Linnaeus, 1758) (TSN 180551)
French Common Names: carcajou
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.103092
Element Code: AMAJF03010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Carnivores
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae Gulo
Genus Size: A - Monotypic genus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.
Concept Reference Code: B93WIL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Gulo gulo
Taxonomic Comments: Some authors (e.g., Hall 1981) have regarded the North American wolverine as a species (Gulo luscus) distinct from the Eurasian wolverine (Gulo gulo). Most recent accounts (e.g., Jones et al. 1992; Wozencraft, in Wilson and Reeder 1993, 2005; Pasitschniak-Arts and Lariviere 1995) treat luscus as a subspecies of Gulo gulo, following Degerbol (1935) and Kurten and Rausch (1959).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 04Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 26Sep1997
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Large range in northern Canada and Alaska, where populations probably are in good condition; occurs also in northern Eurasia; status is not well known in many portions of the range; extirpated from most of range in contiguous United States, with promising signs of semi-recovery in selected western states.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (05Sep1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3 (01Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alaska (S4), California (S1), Colorado (S1), Idaho (S1), Indiana (SX), Iowa (SX), Massachusetts (SX), Michigan (SX), Minnesota (SX), Montana (S3), Nebraska (SX), Nevada (SH), New Hampshire (SX), New York (SX), North Dakota (SX), Ohio (SX), Oregon (S1), Pennsylvania (SX), South Dakota (SX), Utah (S2), Vermont (SX), Washington (S1), Wisconsin (SX), Wyoming (S2)
Canada Alberta (S3), British Columbia (S3), Labrador (S1), Manitoba (S3S4), New Brunswick (SX), Northwest Territories (S3?), Nunavut (S3), Ontario (S2S3), Quebec (S1), Saskatchewan (S2S3), Yukon Territory (S3)

Other Statuses

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R6 - Rocky Mountain
Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: SC (29May2018)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Special Concern (02May2014)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for Designation: This wide-ranging carnivore has an estimated Canadian population likely exceeding 10,000 mature individuals. Although population increases appear to be occurring in portions of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Manitoba and Ontario, declines have been reported in the southern part of the range, e.g. in British Columbia, and populations in a large part of the range (Quebec and Labrador) have not recovered. The species may be extirpated from Vancouver Island. Population estimates are very limited, and trends are not known. Most data are limited to harvest records, and harvest levels may be under-reported because many pelts used domestically are not included in official statistics. There is no evidence, however, of a decline in harvest over the last 3 generations. This species' habitat is increasingly fragmented by industrial activity, especially in the southern part of its range, and increased motorized access increases harvest pressure. Climate change is likely impacting animals in the southern part of the range, and this impact is expected to increase northward. The species has a low reproductive rate, is sensitive to human disturbance, and requires vast secure areas to maintain viable populations.

Status History: The species was considered a single unit and designated Special Concern in April 1982. Split into two populations in April 1989 (Western and Eastern populations). The original designation was de-activated. In May 2014, the Eastern and Western populations were considered as a single unit across the Canadian range and was designated Special Concern.

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Holarctic; northern Europe, northern Asia, and northern North America (Pasitschniak-Arts and Lariviere 1995, Aubry et al. 2007). The species occupies a wide elevational range; for example, in California, wolverines have been recorded at elevations of 400 to 4,300 meters (average 2425 m) (California DF&G 1990, Wilson 1982).

Historical range in North America: arctic islands to the mountains of California, Colorado, and Utah (Predator Conservation Alliance 2001), and parts of the northcentral and northeastern U.S. (where records are sketchy and scarce). Presently extirpated from most of the southern part of the range, including all of the northcentral and northeastern U.S. and most of southeastern and south-central Canada.

In Canada, the wolverine retains its original distribution in the arctic region and in the western mountain and boreal regions but has disappeared from the prairies and from areas south of the boreal forest in eastern Canada; within the boreal region a large gap distributional has developed southeast of Hudson Bay (Dauphine, 1989 COSEWIC report). There have been no verified reports of wolverines in Quebec since 1978, or in Labrador since 1950, but there are unconfirmed reports almost every year (Environment Canada, Species at Risk website).

Recent surveys in the contiguous United States indicate that wolverines appear to occupy (and are essentially limited to) the montane regions of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Washington (Copeland 1996; Washington Department of Wildlife 1998; Inman et al. 2002; Giddings, pers. comm., 2003 cited by USFWS 2003; Squires, pers. comm., 2003, cited by USFWS 2003). Until recently, there had been no confirmed records of wolverine in California since 1922 (Grinnell et al. 1937); attempts to locate wolverines by means of photographic bait stations during the winters of 1991-1992 and 1992-1993 yielded no records (Barrett et al. 1994). In 2008-2010, a single male wolverine was photographed by camera traps in the central Sierra Nevada of California. However, genetic data indicate that this male is related to wolverines in the northern Rocky Mountains and not a remnant of the native California population. See Predator Conservation Alliance (2001) and Wilson (1982) for a state-by-state review of occurrence in the contiguous United States.

Data on the distribution in Eurasia are sketchy. The range in Scandinavia appears to be concentrated in the mountainous central and northern portions of Norway and Sweden, as well as in Finland (Kvam et al. 1988; Nyholm 1993 and Andersson 1995, cited by Blomqvist 1995). Wolverines also occupy the taiga and northern coniferous forest of the former Soviet Union (M. S. Blinnikov, pers. comm.). [from Petersen 1997]

Number of Occurrences: Unknown
Number of Occurrences Comments: Number of occurrences is unknown but there are many in North America and Eurasia. However, occurrences must be defined on a very large scale, so the number of distinct occurrences in a large region will be one or a few at most.

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total population size is unknown but probably is at least in the hundreds of thousands. Substantial populations occur in northern Canada and Alaska. Estimates reported in 2003 put the total population in western Canada at 15,000-19,000 individuals (Environment Canada, Species at Risk website).

Outside of Alaska, Montana and Idaho likely have the largest populations in the United States (perhaps a few hundred individuals in each state). Acknowledging a lack of substantial data, Predator Conservation alliance (2001) stated that extrapolation of the best available information indicates an estimated population of fewer than 750 wolverines in the contiguous United States, including an estimated 400-600 in the U.S. northern Rocky Mountains, and perhaps 100 across the Northwest and Sierra Nevada.

In North America, population density estimates range from one wolverine per 65 sq km in Montana (Hornocker and Hash 1981) to less than one per 200 sq km in northern British Columbia (Quick 1953), Alaska (Becker and Gardner 1992), and the Northwest Territories (Lee and Niptanatiak 1993). [from Petersen 1997]

In Eurasia, data on current populations are scarce. In Norway, the population was estimated to be 120 to 180 individuals (Kvam et al. 1988), in Sweden less than 100 individuals (Andersson 1995, cited by Blomqvist 1995), and in Finland approximately 90 individuals (Nyholm 1993, cited by Blomqvist 1995). In the conservation parks of Russia, the average number of encounters with wolverine tracks along 10 km transects ranged from 0.03 to 1.8 (Russian Research Center 1992). [from Petersen 1997]

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Decline may have been due primarily to fur trapping. Habitat has been degraded through timber harvesting, ski area construction, road construction, and general human disturbance (Biosystems Analysis 1989). There are conflicts with backcountry trappers.

Excessive hunter harvesting and loss of ungulate wintering areas (Banci 1994), as well as displacement of ungulate populations due to excessive timber harvest and urbanization, may adversely impact wolverines (www.wolverinefoundation.org).

In western Canada, with the extensive human settlement that began in the mid-19th century, the wolverine has undergone range contractions and population reductions. Wolf control programs that were in effect from the 1950s and into the 1990s contributed to this species' decline. The habitat, particularly in the southern part of the range, is subject to loss, degradation, and fragmentation from oil, gas, and mineral exploration and extraction, forestry, roads, agriculture, and urban development. Although Wolverines are known to use snowmobile trails and scavenge from traps, backcountry recreation can lead to habitat alienation for these secretive animals. Increased access of motorized vehicles into remote areas may also increase harvest pressure on the wolverine and on its ungulate prey, particularly the threatened Southern Mountain population of Woodland Caribou. In the arctic tundra, developments frequently attract wolverines, which are then at risk of being killed as nuisance animals. As an economically valuable furbearer, the wolverine is subject to trapping and has been over-harvested in some areas. Declines in the population in eastern Canada are related to a combination of factors: hunting and trapping in the late 19th century, dwindling caribou herds in the early 20th century, human encroachment on habitat, reduction in the number of wolves, and the indiscriminate use of poison baits. [From Environment Canada Species at Risk website. See Dauphine (1989 COSEWIC report) for further information on threats in Canada.]

Among the limiting factors in Alberta are the loss of isolated habitat, a reduction in the availability of large ungulate carrion, and trapping pressure (Petersen 1997).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Environment Canada - Species at Risk website (http://www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca ) reported the following information for the western population:

In the Yukon, populations are healthy and stable in all regions. In the Northwest Territories, densities vary with location; they are highest in the southwest and lowest on the Arctic Islands and on the mainland east of the Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary. In Nunavut, densities are moderate in the west and low on the Arctic Islands and in the east. Populations are believed to be stable over much of British Columbia, but are declining in the southern mountains. A distinct subspecies may no longer be extant on Vancouver Island, where Wolverines have not been seen since 1992; their decline may be related to that of the endangered Vancouver Island marmot, a potential summer food. In Alberta, wolverines are most abundant in the west, but appear to be declining throughout the province. In Saskatchewan, they are common in the north, but are rare and possibly declining in the southern boreal forest. In Manitoba, the highest densities are in the northeast and northwest, while numbers in the north central part of the province are unknown. Wolverines are found in small numbers in northwestern Ontario; they may have increased recently in some areas, but are known to have disappeared from others. Overall numbers for Ontario indicate a decline. Although records exist for their occurrence in the Prairie and Great Lakes Plains ecological areas, wolverine populations may never have been viable in these regions.

See also Dauphine (1989 COSEWIC report) for information on status in Canada.

In Alberta, trapping data suggest that the highest populations are found in the western parts of the province, and that populations have declined in most regions of Alberta in the past two decades (Petersen 1997).

Long-term Trend:  
Long-term Trend Comments: Wolverines have been extirpated from large portions of their range in southern and eastern Canada and are now considered to be 'endangered' in eastern regions of Canada. Western and northern Canada have healthier populations, although the wolverine is considered to be 'vulnerable' in these areas, and at risk of further population declines and range contractions (Petersen 1997).

Numbers apparently declined steadily in the U.S. beginning in the latter half of the 1800s. In the United States, the species no longer occurs east of Montana and Wyoming. The last reliable sighting in California was in 1922 (K. Aubrey, cited by Rowland et al. 2003). Wolverines are now very rare or extirpated at the southern periphery of the range in Colorado (Fitzgerald et al. 1994). The species apparently has made a comeback in recent years in Idaho, Montana , and some other western states. Some areas of the U.S. along the continental divide have been recolonized from Canada (Wilson 1982). Hornaker and Hash (1981) asserted stable populations on their study area in Montana, with high dispersal patterns maintaining the stability, rebounding from near extinction in Montana from 1920-1940 (Newby and Wright 1955).

Subspecies katschemakensis of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula totaled about 50 individuals in the 1980s; apparently was declining due to an excessively long hunting season (see Nowak 1991).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Highly vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Species has a low reproductive output because of poor breeding success, high juvenile mortality, and slow sexual maturity (Petersen 1997).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Need an accurate population count and distribution map.

Protection Needs: Kyle and Strobeck (2002) confirmed that high levels of gene flow occur among all the northern wolverine populations sampled. They "also observed progressively increasing genetic structure at the periphery of their southern and eastern distributions, suggesting that these populations may have been partially fragmented from what was once a panmictic unit. Peripheral populations may be more susceptible to extirpation and, therefore, may be the most appropriate targets for concerted conservation efforts to prevent the elimination of wolverines from yet more of their historical range."

Protection of natal denning habitat from human disturbance may be critical. Montane coniferous forests, suitable for winter foraging and summer kit rearing, may only be useful if connected with subalpine cirque habitats required for natal denning, security areas, and summer foraging. In addition, these habitats must be available during the proper season. Subalpine cirque areas, important for natal denning, may be made unavailable by winter recreational activities. Conversely, high road densities, timber sales, or housing developments on the fringes of subalpine habitats may reduce potential for winter foraging and kit rearing, and increase the probability of human-caused wolverine mortality. [from www.wolverinefoundation.org].

See also Predator Conservation Alliance (2001) for a summary of protection needs.

Keep trappers out of known wolverine areas.

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Holarctic; northern Europe, northern Asia, and northern North America (Pasitschniak-Arts and Lariviere 1995, Aubry et al. 2007). The species occupies a wide elevational range; for example, in California, wolverines have been recorded at elevations of 400 to 4,300 meters (average 2425 m) (California DF&G 1990, Wilson 1982).

Historical range in North America: arctic islands to the mountains of California, Colorado, and Utah (Predator Conservation Alliance 2001), and parts of the northcentral and northeastern U.S. (where records are sketchy and scarce). Presently extirpated from most of the southern part of the range, including all of the northcentral and northeastern U.S. and most of southeastern and south-central Canada.

In Canada, the wolverine retains its original distribution in the arctic region and in the western mountain and boreal regions but has disappeared from the prairies and from areas south of the boreal forest in eastern Canada; within the boreal region a large gap distributional has developed southeast of Hudson Bay (Dauphine, 1989 COSEWIC report). There have been no verified reports of wolverines in Quebec since 1978, or in Labrador since 1950, but there are unconfirmed reports almost every year (Environment Canada, Species at Risk website).

Recent surveys in the contiguous United States indicate that wolverines appear to occupy (and are essentially limited to) the montane regions of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Washington (Copeland 1996; Washington Department of Wildlife 1998; Inman et al. 2002; Giddings, pers. comm., 2003 cited by USFWS 2003; Squires, pers. comm., 2003, cited by USFWS 2003). Until recently, there had been no confirmed records of wolverine in California since 1922 (Grinnell et al. 1937); attempts to locate wolverines by means of photographic bait stations during the winters of 1991-1992 and 1992-1993 yielded no records (Barrett et al. 1994). In 2008-2010, a single male wolverine was photographed by camera traps in the central Sierra Nevada of California. However, genetic data indicate that this male is related to wolverines in the northern Rocky Mountains and not a remnant of the native California population. See Predator Conservation Alliance (2001) and Wilson (1982) for a state-by-state review of occurrence in the contiguous United States.

Data on the distribution in Eurasia are sketchy. The range in Scandinavia appears to be concentrated in the mountainous central and northern portions of Norway and Sweden, as well as in Finland (Kvam et al. 1988; Nyholm 1993 and Andersson 1995, cited by Blomqvist 1995). Wolverines also occupy the taiga and northern coniferous forest of the former Soviet Union (M. S. Blinnikov, pers. comm.). [from Petersen 1997]

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, CA, CO, IAextirpated, ID, INextirpated, MAextirpated, MIextirpated, MNextirpated, MT, NDextirpated, NEextirpated, NHextirpated, NV, NYextirpated, OHextirpated, OR, PAextirpated, SDextirpated, UT, VTextirpated, WA, WIextirpated, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NBextirpated, NT, NU, ON, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: Sechrest, 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CA Alpine (06003), Amador (06005)*, Del Norte (06015)*, El Dorado (06017), Fresno (06019), Inyo (06027), Kern (06029)*, Lake (06033)*, Lassen (06035)*, Madera (06039), Mariposa (06043)*, Mendocino (06045), Modoc (06049)*, Mono (06051), Nevada (06057), Placer (06061)*, Plumas (06063)*, Shasta (06089), Sierra (06091), Siskiyou (06093), Trinity (06105), Tulare (06107), Tuolumne (06109)
CO Alamosa (08003)*, Archuleta (08007)*, Boulder (08013)*, Conejos (08021)*, Costilla (08023)*, Delta (08029)*, Dolores (08033)*, Eagle (08037), Garfield (08045)*, Gilpin (08047)*, Grand (08049), Gunnison (08051), Hinsdale (08053)*, Huerfano (08055)*, Jackson (08057), La Plata (08067)*, Larimer (08069)*, Mineral (08079)*, Moffat (08081)*, Montezuma (08083)*, Montrose (08085)*, Ouray (08091)*, Park (08093), Pitkin (08097)*, Pueblo (08101)*, Rio Blanco (08103), Routt (08107)*, Saguache (08109)*, San Miguel (08113)*, Summit (08117)*
ID Ada (16001), Adams (16003), Bannock (16005), Bear Lake (16007), Benewah (16009), Blaine (16013), Boise (16015), Bonner (16017), Bonneville (16019), Boundary (16021), Butte (16023), Camas (16025), Canyon (16027)*, Caribou (16029), Clark (16033), Clearwater (16035), Custer (16037), Elmore (16039), Franklin (16041), Fremont (16043), Idaho (16049), Jerome (16053), Kootenai (16055), Latah (16057), Lemhi (16059), Madison (16065), Shoshone (16079), Twin Falls (16083), Valley (16085)
MT Beaverhead (30001), Broadwater (30007), Carbon (30009), Cascade (30013), Deer Lodge (30023), Flathead (30029), Gallatin (30031), Glacier (30035), Granite (30039), Jefferson (30043), Judith Basin (30045), Lake (30047), Lewis and Clark (30049), Lincoln (30053), Madison (30057), Meagher (30059), Mineral (30061), Missoula (30063), Park (30067), Pondera (30073), Powell (30077), Ravalli (30081), Sanders (30089), Silver Bow (30093), Stillwater (30095), Sweet Grass (30097), Teton (30099), Wheatland (30107)
OR Baker (41001), Union (41061), Wallowa (41063)
UT Beaver (49001)*, Cache (49005), Daggett (49009)*, Duchesne (49013), Garfield (49017)*, Morgan (49029)*, Piute (49031)*, Salt Lake (49035)*, San Juan (49037)*, Sanpete (49039), Summit (49043), Uintah (49047)*, Utah (49049)*, Wasatch (49051)*, Wayne (49055)*, Weber (49057)*
WA Asotin (53003), Benton (53005), Chelan (53007), Clallam (53009), Columbia (53013), Ferry (53019), Franklin (53021), Garfield (53023), Jefferson (53031), King (53033), Kittitas (53037), Klickitat (53039), Lewis (53041), Mason (53045), Okanogan (53047), Pend Oreille (53051), Pierce (53053), Skagit (53057), Skamania (53059), Snohomish (53061), Spokane (53063), Stevens (53065), Thurston (53067), Walla Walla (53071), Whatcom (53073), Yakima (53077)
WY Albany (56001), Carbon (56007), Fremont (56013), Goshen (56015), Johnson (56019), Laramie (56021), Lincoln (56023), Park (56029), Sheridan (56033), Sublette (56035), Teton (56039)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
09 St. Marys (09040001)+, Belly (09040002)+
10 Red Rock (10020001)+, Beaverhead (10020002)+, Ruby (10020003)+, Big Hole (10020004)+, Jefferson (10020005)+, Boulder (10020006)+, Madison (10020007)+, Gallatin (10020008)+, Upper Missouri (10030101)+, Upper Missouri-Dearborn (10030102)+, Smith (10030103)+, Sun (10030104)+, Belt (10030105)+, Two Medicine (10030201)+, Cut Bank (10030202)+, Teton (10030205)+, Arrow (10040102)+, Judith (10040103)+, Upper Musselshell (10040201)+, Milk Headwaters (10050001)+, Yellowstone Headwaters (10070001)+, Upper Yellowstone (10070002)+, Shields (10070003)+, Stillwater (10070005)+, Clarks Fork Yellowstone (10070006)+, Upper Wind (10080001)+, Popo Agie (10080003)+, Nowood (10080008)+, Greybull (10080009)+, North Fork Shoshone (10080012)+, South Fork Shoshone (10080013)+, Little Bighorn (10080016)+, Upper Tongue (10090101)+, Crazy Woman (10090205)+, Clear (10090206)+, North Platte Headwaters (10180001)+, Upper North Platte (10180002)+, Medicine Bow (10180004)+, Middle North Platte-Scotts Bluff (10180009)+, Upper Laramie (10180010)+, Horse (10180012)+, South Platte Headwaters (10190001)+, Upper South Platte (10190002)+, St. Vrain (10190005)+*, Big Thompson (10190006)+*, Cache La Poudre (10190007)+, Crow (10190009)+, Upper Lodgepole (10190015)+
11 Upper Arkansas (11020002)+*, Huerfano (11020006)+*
13 Rio Grande headwaters (13010001)+*, Alamosa-Trinchera (13010002)+*, San Luis (13010003)+*, Conejos (13010005)+*, Rio Chama (13020102)+*
14 Colorado headwaters (14010001)+, Blue (14010002)+*, Eagle (14010003)+, Roaring Fork (14010004)+, Colorado headwaters-Plateau (14010005)+*, East-Taylor (14020001)+*, Upper Gunnison (14020002)+*, Tomichi (14020003)+*, North Fork Gunnison (14020004)+*, Uncompahange (14020006)+*, Upper Dolores (14030002)+*, San Miguel (14030003)+*, Upper Colorado-Kane Springs (14030005)+*, Upper Green (14040101)+, New Fork (14040102)+, Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir (14040106)+, Blacks Fork (14040107)+, Upper Yampa (14050001)+, Lower Yampa (14050002)+*, Little Snake (14050003)+*, Upper White (14050005)+, Piceance-Yellow (14050006)+*, Lower Green-Diamond (14060001)+*, Ashley-Brush (14060002)+*, Duchesne (14060003)+, Price (14060007)+, San Rafael (14060009)+, Fremont (14070003)+*, Escalante (14070005)+*, Upper San Juan (14080101)+*, Middle San Juan (14080105)+*, Mancos (14080107)+*
16 Upper Bear (16010101)+, Central Bear (16010102)+, Middle Bear (16010202)+, Little Bear-Logan (16010203)+, Upper Weber (16020101)+*, Lower Weber (16020102)+*, Utah Lake (16020201)+*, Provo (16020203)+*, Jordan (16020204)+*, Middle Sevier (16030003)+*, San Pitch (16030004)+*, Beaver Bottoms-Upper Beaver (16030007)+*, Lake Tahoe (16050101)+, Truckee (16050102)+, Upper Carson (16050201)+, East Walker (16050301)+*, West Walker (16050302)+*, Fish Lake-Soda Spring Valleys (16060010)+*
17 Upper Kootenai (17010101)+, Fisher (17010102)+, Yaak (17010103)+, Lower Kootenai (17010104)+, Moyie (17010105)+, Elk (17010106)+, Upper Clark Fork (17010201)+, Flint-Rock (17010202)+, Blackfoot (17010203)+, Middle Clark Fork (17010204)+, Bitterroot (17010205)+, North Fork Flathead (17010206)+, Middle Fork Flathead (17010207)+, Flathead Lake (17010208)+, South Fork Flathead (17010209)+, Stillwater (17010210)+, Swan (17010211)+, Lower Flathead (17010212)+, Lower Clark Fork (17010213)+, Pend Oreille Lake (17010214)+, Priest (17010215)+, Pend Oreille (17010216)+, Upper Coeur D'alene (17010301)+, South Fork Coeur D'alene (17010302)+, Coeur D'alene Lake (17010303)+, St. Joe (17010304)+, Upper Spokane (17010305)+, Little Spokane (17010308)+, Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake (17020001)+, Kettle (17020002)+, Colville (17020003)+, Sanpoil (17020004)+, Chief Joseph (17020005)+, Okanogan (17020006)+, Similkameen (17020007)+, Methow (17020008)+, Lake Chelan (17020009)+, Upper Columbia-Entiat (17020010)+, Wenatchee (17020011)+, Upper Columbia-Priest Rapids (17020016)+, Upper Yakima (17030001)+, Naches (17030002)+, Lower Yakima, Washington (17030003)+, Snake headwaters (17040101)+, Gros Ventre (17040102)+, Greys-Hobock (17040103)+, Palisades (17040104)+, Salt (17040105)+, Idaho Falls (17040201)+, Upper Henrys (17040202)+, Lower Henrys (17040203)+, Teton (17040204)+, Portneuf (17040208)+, Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+, Medicine Lodge (17040215)+, Birch (17040216)+, Little Lost (17040217)+, Big Lost (17040218)+, Big Wood (17040219)+, Camas (17040220)+, Little Wood (17040221)+, C. J. Idaho (17050101)+, North and Middle Forks Boise (17050111)+, Boise-Mores (17050112)+, South Fork Boise (17050113)+, Lower Boise (17050114)+, South Fork Payette (17050120)+, Payette (17050122)+, North Fork Payette (17050123)+, Brownlee Reservoir (17050201)+, Powder (17050203)+, Imnaha (17060102)+, Lower Snake-Asotin (17060103)+, Upper Grande Ronde (17060104)+, Wallowa (17060105)+, Lower Grande Ronde (17060106)+, Lower Snake-Tucannon (17060107)+, Lower Snake (17060110)+, Upper Salmon (17060201)+, Pahsimeroi (17060202)+, Middle Salmon-Panther (17060203)+, Lemhi (17060204)+, Upper Middle Fork Salmon (17060205)+, Lower Middle Fork Salmon (17060206)+, Middle Salmon-Chamberlain (17060207)+, South Fork Salmon (17060208)+, Lower Salmon (17060209)+, Little Salmon (17060210)+, Upper Selway (17060301)+, Lower Selway (17060302)+, Lochsa (17060303)+, South Fork Clearwater (17060305)+, Clearwater (17060306)+, Upper North Fork Clearwater (17060307)+, Lower North Fork Clearwater (17060308)+, Middle Columbia-Lake Wallula (17070101)+, Walla Walla (17070102)+, Middle Columbia-Hood (17070105)+, Klickitat (17070106)+, Lewis (17080002)+, Upper Cowlitz (17080004)+, Lower Cowlitz (17080005)+, Hoh-Quillayute (17100101)+, Upper Chehalis (17100103)+, Nooksack (17110004)+, Upper Skagit (17110005)+, Sauk (17110006)+, Lower Skagit (17110007)+, Stillaguamish (17110008)+, Skykomish (17110009)+, Snoqualmie (17110010)+, Duwamish (17110013)+, Puyallup (17110014)+, Skokomish (17110017)+, Hood Canal (17110018)+
18 Smith (18010101)+*, Upper Eel (18010103)+*, Middle Fork Eel (18010104)+, Shasta (18010207)+*, Scott (18010208)+, Lower Klamath (18010209)+, Salmon (18010210)+, Trinity (18010211)+, South Fork Trinity (18010212)+, Lower Pit (18020003)+, Mccloud (18020004)+, Sacramento headwaters (18020005)+, North Fork Feather (18020121)+*, East Branch North Fork Feather (18020122)+*, Middle Fork Feather (18020123)+, Upper Yuba (18020125)+, North Fork American (18020128)+*, South Fork American (18020129)+, Battle Creek (18020153)+*, Clear Creek-Sacramento River (18020154)+, Upper Kern (18030001)+*, South Fork Kern (18030002)+, Upper Poso (18030004)+*, Upper Tule (18030006)+*, Upper Kaweah (18030007)+, Upper King (18030010)+*, Upper San Joaquin (18040006)+, Upper Merced (18040008)+*, Upper Tuolumne (18040009)+, Upper Stanislaus (18040010)+*, Upper Mokelumne (18040012)+*, Surprise Valley (18080001)+*, Honey-Eagle Lakes (18080003)+*, Mono Lake (18090101)+, Crowley Lake (18090102)+, Owens Lake (18090103)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A large mustelid.
General Description: A somewhat bearlike mustelid with massive limbs and long, dense, dark brown pelage, paler on the head, with two broad yellowish stripes extending from the shoulders and joining on the rump; bushy tail; relatively large feet; 650-1125 mm total length, 170-260 mm tail, 180-192 mm hind foot; mass 7-32 kg; females average about 10% less than males in linear measurements and 30% less in mass (Hall 1981, Ingles 1965, Nowak 1991).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Differs from the fisher in having yellowish stripes on the sides. Differs from the badger in having darker overall coloration (badger is yellowish gray), yellowish lateral stripes, and longer limbs; lacks the white stripe that in the badger extends from the snout over the top of the head to at least the neck.
Reproduction Comments: Breeds April-October (but variable), usually in summer. Implantation is delayed generally until winter. Gestation lasts 7-9 months; active gestation 30-40 days. One to six (usually 2-4) young are born January-April, mainly February or March (reportedly April-June in the Pacific states, Ingles 1965). Young are weaned beginning at about 7-8 weeks, separate from the mother in the fall. Sexually mature generally in the second or third year. Males sexually mature sometimes as yearlings (Alaska and Yukon); males over three years old were sexually mature in British Columbia. Some females mature at 12-15 months and produce their first litter when two years old. (Wilson 1982). In some areas, females may produce litters only every 2-3 years. In British Columbia, most mature females were reproductively active. Lives to an age of up to about 10 years, or sometimes 15-18 years or so.
Ecology Comments: Solitary and wide ranging. Occurs at relatively low population densities (e.g., 1 per 65 sq km in one area in Montana).

Males in some areas apparently are territorial, but in Montana there was extensive overlap of the ranges of both the same and opposite sexes. Apparently territory/range size depends on availability of denning sites and food supply (see Wilson 1982). Some individuals travel regularly over the same route (Wilson 1982).

There are no important predators other than humans. See Whitman et al. (1986).

Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Tends to occupy higher elevations in summer, lower elevations in winter (Hornocker and Hash 1981, Whitman et al. 1986).

Male home ranges large: up to 1,000 square kilometers (RIC 1999); averaging 422 square kilometers in Montana (Hornocker and Hash 1981) and 535 square kilometers in Alaska (Whitman et al. 1986). Home ranges of females with young much smaller, ranging from 73 to 416 square kilometers (Hornocker and Hash 1981, Gardner 1985, Magoun 1985, Whitman et al. 1986, Banci 1987, Copeland 1996).

Terrestrial Habitat(s): Alpine, Forest - Conifer, Grassland/herbaceous, Shrubland/chaparral, Tundra, Woodland - Conifer
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Alpine and arctic tundra, boreal and mountain forests (primarily coniferous). Limited to mountains in the south, especially large wilderness areas. Usually in areas with snow on the ground in winter. Riparian areas may be important winter habitat. May disperse through atypical habitat. When inactive, occupies den in cave, rock crevice, under fallen tree, in thicket, or similar site. Terrestrial and may climb trees.

Young are born in a den among rocks or tree roots, in hollow log, under fallen tree, or in dense vegetation, including sites under snow.

Adult Food Habits: Carnivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore
Food Comments: Opportunistic. Feeds on a wide variety of roots, berries, small mammmals, birds' eggs and young, fledglings, and fish (Hatler 1989). May attack moose, caribou, and deer hampered by deep snow. Small and medium size rodents and carrion (especially ungulate carcasses) often make up a large percentage of the diet. Prey are captured by pursuit, ambush, digging out dens (Biosystems Analysis 1989), or climbing into trees. May cache prey in fork of tree branches or under snow.
Adult Phenology: Circadian, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Circadian, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Active throughout the year. Active both day and night but primarily nocturnal.
Length: 100 centimeters
Weight: 15000 grams
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: Fur is favorable for trimming parkas, but limited numbers make the wolverine relatively unimportant as a furbearer. In the 1970s, annual harvest was several hundred in Alaska and a few dozen in Montana (Wilson 1982). In the early 1980s, the harvest in Canada, Alaska, and Montana was 1377 (Nowak 1991).

Sometimes regarded as a nuisance; may rob traplines or destroy human food caches. Was intensively hunted in Scandinavia because of alleged predation on domestic reindeer (Nowak 1991).

Management Summary
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Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Maintaining wilderness and roadless areas is critical. In timber harvest areas, roads should be minimized.

Although wolverines maintain large home ranges, they exhibit fidelity to discrete areas, and populations in scattered sites within areas such as the Northwest Territories (Canada) are genetically independent, suggesting the need to consider preservation of multiple populations if genetic diveristy is to be maintained (Wilson et al. 2000).

Management Requirements: Management programs must be regional, rather than local, for this wide-ranging, low-density species.

Rowland et al. (2003) evaluated performance of landscape models for wolverines within their historical range at 2 scales based on recent observations (n = 421) from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. At the subbasin scale, simple overlays of habitat and road-density classes were effective in predicting observations of wolverines. At the watershed scale, they used a Bayesian belief network model to provide spatially explicit estimates of relative habitat capability. The model had 3 inputs: amount of habitat, human population density, and road density. At both scales, the best models revealed strong correspondence between means of predicted counts of wolverines and means of observed counts. Their results can be used to guide regional conservation planning for wolverines.

See Predator Conservation Alliance (2001) for a summary of management needs.

Monitoring Requirements: Survey techniques were summarized by McKay (1991) and Butts (1992).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals in appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: None.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Occurrences generally should be based on major occupied physiographic or ecogeographic units that are separated along areas of relatively low wolverine density or use. These units may be based on available sightings/records or on movements of radio-tagged individuals, or they may be based on the subjective determinations by biologists familiar with wolverines and their habitats. Where occupied habitat is exceptionally extensive and continuous, that habitat may be subdivided into multiple contiguous occurrences as long as that does not reduce the occurrence rank (i.e., do not split up an A occurrence into multiple occurrences that would be ranked less than A). The dividing lines should be made as much as possible along lines of limited wolverine use; for example, along very rugged alpine ridges or very wide bodies of water.
Separation Justification: Available evidence indicates that juveniles disperse usually around 30-100 km from their natal range, though dispersal movements of more than 300 km are known (Magoun 1985, Gardner et al. 1986). Kyle and Strobeck (2002) confirmed that high levels of gene flow do occur among all the northern wolverine populations sampled, although they also observed progressively increasing genetic structure at the periphery of their southern and eastern distributions. Thus available evidence indicates that populations or metapopulations may occupy vast areas. For this and other wide-ranging, low density mammals, it seems most reasonable to base occurrences (and conservation efforts) on major occupied landscape features rather than on specific prescribed separation distances (e.g., see Rowland et al. 2003)

Mountain ranges and large rivers are not barriers to the same extent that they are for many related species (Hornocker and Hash 1981, Banci 1987).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 25 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on a home range of about 500 square kilometers (see Separation Justification).
Date: 09Mar2005
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 04Mar2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G., J. Griffin, and F. Dirrigl, Jr.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 04Mar2005
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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