Green Room

Feds: Global warming endangers …. Wolverines!

posted at 9:30 am on February 1, 2013 by

I’m pretty sure this will be the plot line of the next remake of Red Dawn.  Come on, it can’t be any more ridiculous than an invasion by North Korea, right?

The tenacious wolverine, a snow-loving carnivore sometimes called the “mountain devil,” is being added to the list of species threatened by climate change — a dubious distinction that puts it in the ranks of the polar bear and several other animals that could see their habitats shrink drastically due to warming temperatures.

Federal wildlife officials on Friday will propose Endangered Species Act protections for the wolverine in the lower 48 states, a step twice denied under the Bush administration.

The Associated Press obtained details of the government’s long-awaited ruling on the rare and elusive animal in advance of Friday’s announcement.

There are only 250 to 300 wolverines in the contiguous U.S., clustered into small, isolated groups primarily in the Northern Rockies of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington. Larger populations persist in Alaska and Canada.

Maxing out at 40 pounds and tough enough to stand up to grizzly bears, the animals will be no match for anticipated declines in deep mountain snows that female wolverines need to establish dens and raise their young, scientists said.

Can’t you see it?  The climate-change deniers head to the hills, sneak back in town on a hot afternoon for supplies and information, while the UN keeps their parents and friends prisoner with hockey sticks.  They meet up with their father, who says, “Now you know why I was so tough on you … making you shovel the driveway by hand rather than buy a snowblower.”  As they walk off, the father yells, “Cool me, boys! COOL ME!”

You have to go quite a way into the actual article, though, to find out why the wolverines are down to the low hundreds.  It’s not from global warming; it’s from trapping, and that only takes place in Montana now.  Most of that damage took place before the 1930s, and they’re actually slowly rebounding everywhere but Montana.

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Never a lot of Wolverines in Montana anyway. Plenty of Gophers though.

Gingotts on February 1, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Oh fail so hard. I read Montana as Minnesota and even typed Montana.

Gingotts on February 1, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Honey Badger doesn’t care…

trs on February 1, 2013 at 9:37 AM

It’s just not like the good old days, before SUVs, when Illinois was buried in ice.

forest on February 1, 2013 at 10:02 AM

You have to go quite a way into the actual article, though, to find out why the wolverines are down…

Or, even to Wiki:

The wolverine can be found primarily in remote reaches of the Northern boreal forests and subarctic and alpine tundra of the Northern Hemisphere, with the greatest numbers in northern Canada, the U.S. state of Alaska, the Nordic countries of Europe, and throughout western Russia and Siberia. Their populations have experienced a steady decline since the 19th century in the face of trapping, range reduction and habitat fragmentation, such that they are essentially absent in the southern end of their European range. Large populations are thought to remain in North America and northern Asia. Wolverines are solitary animals.

Fallon on February 1, 2013 at 10:15 AM

And here I always thought it was the Buckeyes that endangered Wolverines

Ellis on February 1, 2013 at 10:21 AM

He wanted to emulate his Inuit mentors, so he got himself some sled dogs. But he says polar bears are a constant problem for dog mushers. “There’s lots of polar bears now. They come right into town, and they hate dogs. A couple of years ago my neighbour phoned me one morning and said, ‘there’s a big polar bear coming down the street and he looks like he’s in a bad mood.’ The bear was heading right for my dogs. I opened the kitchen window and fired a shot to scare it off but it ignored me and killed one of my dogs with one slap. So I shot the bear.”

The CBC interviewed him, and qallunaat – white people – criticized him on the web site. “People were saying a polar bear is more valuable than a sled dog. Well, I work hard and I spend a lot of money on my dogs. A good dog is worth from two thousand to five thousand dollars. They said you should put your dogs in a ‘safe location.’ We don’t have safe locations. The bears walk right into the hamlet. Am I supposed to just stand there and watch when a bear starts killing my dogs?”

J_Crater on February 1, 2013 at 10:27 AM

J_Crater on February 1, 2013 at 10:27 AM

From your link:

In 2012, the Nunavut government conducted a long-awaited census of western Hudson Bay polar bears and came up with 1,013 animals, or about twice as many as the number projected by environment Canada. Dr. Mitch Taylor, a lifelong polar bear scientist who, at times, has been ostracized by his peers for insisting that polar bear populations are generally stable, took some satisfaction from the results. “The Inuit were right. There aren’t just a few more bears. There are a hell of a lot more bears.”

I cringe everytime I see the WWF fundraising off of the decline of polar bears.

Fallon on February 1, 2013 at 10:46 AM

As they walk off, the father yells, “Cool me, boys! COOL ME!”

well played, sir….very well played.

Now the honey badger, OTOH…..that lil’ cuss is gonna do just fine, right????

ted c on February 1, 2013 at 10:50 AM

“Hooray for global warming!” –every football fan in the state of Ohio.

PerceptorII on February 1, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Sure, you laugh now, but just wait until hordes of starving, over-heated wolverines start marching down from the high mountains and set up shop in your garage.

Let’s see ya laugh then, sport.

mojo on February 1, 2013 at 11:42 AM

And this from today’s Seattle Times… headline: “Wolverines rebound” – and an excerpt “…Once shot on sight, trapped and poisoned as vermin, wolverines were extinct in Washington by the 1930s. But they are making a comeback, repopulating portions of their historic home range for the first time in decades.”

SeattleJohn on February 1, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Speaking of making a comeback, I have a mink in the pond across the road. However, I no longer have a muskrat there. Apparently, minks love muskrat and not in that creepy Captain & Tennille way.

Fallon on February 1, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Wait wait… no Adamantium Claws?

This thread sucks.

Snowblind on February 1, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Honey Badger doesn’t care…

trs on February 1, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Exactly.

LoganSix on February 1, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Wait wait… no Adamantium Claws?

This thread sucks.

Snowblind on February 1, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Skip to the 6:58 mark to see why. Hugh Jackman’s opening number at the Oscars®.

Fallon on February 1, 2013 at 1:05 PM