Green Room

Seattle Times: Wolverines are actually making a comeback

posted at 3:51 pm on February 1, 2013 by

No kidding?  And here I thought the dreaded Soviet North Korean Chinese Global Warming was coming to get them:

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. And they soon may be proposed for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Wolverines used to range along the Cascade Crest from the Canadian border all the way to Mount Rainier, but now remain exceedingly rare, with perhaps just 25 animals in Washington, and only about 250 to 300 in the Lower 48.

The wolverine’s return to Washington is amazing scientists. “We are witnessing what we think is the expansion of wolverine into their former range,” said Keith Aubry, research wildlife biologist with the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station in Olympia. Aubry for eight winters had led the first-ever radio-tracking study of wolverines in Washington.

Genetic testing shows the animals they are finding can be traced to populations in Canada that recolonized here once the persecution stopped. Now, those animals, once just visitors, have established resident populations — and they are spreading. “We have growing evidence of them using larger and larger areas over time,” Aubry said.

So how exactly has global warming slowed them down?

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“Wolverines!”

Baerwulf on February 1, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Must’ve been the adamantium.

apostic on February 1, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Persecution?

Oh my head.

Also, why does a once “extinct” species that is making a comeback all on its own need to be listed as endangered? Is the population not currently growing without any regulation whatsoever?

I assume the wolverine union is pushing hard for this so they qualify for taxpayer-funded wolverine shelters and stocked feeders.

TexasDan on February 1, 2013 at 4:14 PM

that recolonized here once the persecution stopped.

WTF? They were being hunted because of their religious beliefs? Or was it their political beliefs? The liberal is strong with this writer!

GWB on February 1, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Honey Badgers hardest hit…but they don’t care.

trs on February 1, 2013 at 4:22 PM

They finished in the BCS Top 25 last year, so I would say they’re doing ok…..

dentarthurdent on February 1, 2013 at 4:26 PM

WTF? They were being hunted because of their religious beliefs? Or was it their political beliefs? The liberal is strong with this writer!

GWB on February 1, 2013 at 4:14 PM

As I understand it, they’re bitter clingers to their assault claws, and refused to convert to enlightened vegans.

dentarthurdent on February 1, 2013 at 4:29 PM

dentarthurdent on February 1, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Hehe

GWB on February 1, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Watch out, wolverines. You’re in Huskies territory. And Cougars.

HiJack on February 1, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Fisher Cats – a smaller relative of the wolverine and badger – have been making a return to central CT for a few years now

phreshone on February 1, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Wolverines have been rare here in the states since the 1800s. Michigan never really had any to speak of, the nicknme may have come from the trappers coming down from Canada and selling the pelts they got there. Now badgers on the other hand are all over Michigan…they are mean and nasty.

Deanna on February 1, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Patrick Swayze is alive!!!!?

reddevil on February 1, 2013 at 6:29 PM

This is a good thing?

Count to 10 on February 1, 2013 at 6:53 PM

They’re the best there is at what they do. And what they do isn’t very nice.

ZK on February 1, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Why don’t these fracktards ever get publicly called out for spewing $hit?
Just like this BS with the spotted owl.
The damned thing was being outcompeted by it’s genetically close relative, the Mexican Spotted owl.
And you hear nothing but crickets on this BS that ruined entire towns & families trying to protect it.
And how about the outright LIE that DDT made the egg shells of raptors thin?
Even the USF&W (mighta been another Fed wildlife agency)back in the day said it wasn’t true, but CRICKETS in the media.
Bcs no! It’s sells more news to create a hysteria!
And notice how DDT quietly came back after its absence helped cause millions of death due to malaria.
I truly hate the media.
They are an enemy.

Badger40 on February 1, 2013 at 10:50 PM

Wolverines have been rare here in the states since the 1800s. Michigan never really had any to speak of, the nicknme may have come from the trappers coming down from Canada and selling the pelts they got there. Now badgers on the other hand are all over Michigan…they are mean and nasty.

Deanna on February 1, 2013 at 6:12 PM

This reminds me of a native prairie type chicken here in ND. I think its the sage grouse or some such critter.
They talk about it like it’s endangered, & who knows, maybe the Feds have labeled it as such.
But if you hear Lewis & Clark’s observations & the stories regarding them from Native Americans, the bird was never very common.
So a critter that doesn’t appear in large numbers in its own habitat does not always mean endangered.

Badger40 on February 1, 2013 at 10:52 PM

One of the scariest stories I ever read was about wolverines. I wish I could remember the title. I’d read it again just to scare the bejesus out of myself. Any body know?

Qzsusy on February 1, 2013 at 11:56 PM

They finished in the BCS Top 25 last year, so I would say they’re doing ok…..

dentarthurdent on February 1, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Were they in the Rose Bowl?

No?

NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!!!!!

JohnGalt23 on February 2, 2013 at 8:28 AM

They finished in the BCS Top 25 last year, so I would say they’re doing ok…..

dentarthurdent on February 1, 2013 at 4:26 PM

There are tons of Walmart Wolverines here in SE MI. Are you one of them?

8 weight on February 2, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Wolverines!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsdfDKT2HXk

ChuckTX on February 2, 2013 at 9:49 AM

I just don’t think they are going to beat Ohio State University next year…

Khun Joe on February 2, 2013 at 10:49 AM

We’ve had a wolverine sighting in Rocky Mountain National park in 2009:

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2009/07/wolverine-photographed-rocky-mountain-national-park

Wolverines are intelligent, bad-tempered, vicious animals that are known to keep a grudge. I love these bad boys and I hope I never encounter one in the wild. Ben Thompson of Badass of the Week covered the ultimate wolverine, M3, of Glacier National Park. M3 deserves his own soundtrack from John Williams:

http://badassoftheweek.com/index.cgi?id=535838729020

bonnie_ on February 2, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Wolverines are actually making a comeback

…oh sorry!…thought this was a sports column…. about the University of Michigan!

KOOLAID2 on February 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM

NEWS FLASH!
Michigan is the “Wolverine State”.
Their numbers were eradicated until a dead one was found a few years back. There is still hope for a comeback. BTW, they’re not to be f’ed with.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Wolverines make the Honey Badger look like a pile of puke. They hunt Moose by dropping from a branch onto a Mooses back making their way up to its neck, digs in with its claws and chews through the Mooses spinal column if the Moose cannot dislodge it.

BL@KBIRD on February 3, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Buckeye fans hardest hit.

The Schaef on February 3, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Watch out, wolverines. You’re in Huskies territory. And Cougars.

HiJack on February 1, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Well, they don’t care.

LoganSix on February 4, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Persecution?

Oh my head.

TexasDan on February 1, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Exactly!

Just wait until they start dragging off suburbanite dogs for dinner. The power to weight ration on a wolverine is spectacular.

roy_batty on February 4, 2013 at 9:20 AM