Wolverine Earns Frequent Walker Miles
New data suggest that this rarely seen species may need huge habitat to survive
Roger Di Silvestro
A MALE WOLVERINE that researchers radio collared in Wyoming’s Teton Mountains in 2002 and monitored for almost two years as it ranged widely through mountain terrain provided surprising new data about the big weasel’s need for space. “Nobody had any idea this guy would take off and travel the way he did,” one of the researchers, Brent Brock of the Wildlife Conservation Society, told a Billings Gazette reporter.
In one 19-day stint, the wolverine made a round-trip of 256 miles between Grand Teton National Park and Pocatello, Idaho—an average of 13.5 miles a day. A few days later, he made a round-trip between the Tetons and Mount Washburn, in Yellowstone National Park, averaging 20 miles a day for a solid week. He generally stayed in forests above 7,000 feet and covered an estimated area of some 23,000 square miles, suggesting that this rarely seen species may need huge habitat to survive.