25 May 2011 CAUGHT IN THE WILD: Citizen Scientists Film A Wolverine! Posted by: David Gaillard | Leave a comment | Share: Folks may recall the exciting news I reported last month when one of our intrepid “citizen scientist” volunteers Kalon Baughan managed to photograph a wild lynx while surveying a transect not far from his house near Lincoln, Montana. Well, during the weeks that followed (we enjoyed an unusually long winter out here, even by Montana standards), Kalon and his partner Dan Kreutz upped the ante yet again by first photographing wild wolverines and then capturing one on video! As I mentioned in my previous post, our non-profit wildlife research partners at Wild Things Unlimited trained Kalon and Dan and dozens of other citizen scientist volunteers to identify and record tracks in the snow and other wildlife observations in this area. Other groups collaborating with us in this citizen scientist project are Montana Wilderness Association (see their slide show of one of our training sessions here) and Winter Wildlands Alliance. Patagonia Corporation generously funded this project through its environmental grants program (we can’t link to a for-profit corporation, but you know how to find them). “Hopefully, citizen scientist volunteers can help make a positive difference for sustainability of our perishable and precious natural world,” said Kalon. “This is very empowering for an avid nature enthusiast, such as myself. Average people can make a difference.” Most of us are superbly lucky if we ever cross the tracks of one of these elusive carnivores, but by taking advantage of an elk carcass and then a nearby boulder field strewn with wolverine tracks, our volunteers captured the remarkable images shown here. PausePlayPlayPrev|Next A lynx investigates an uprooted tree cavity Check out Kalon’s notes (primary report and addendum) and see not just more of his lynx photos but also three wolverine photos and a wolverine video taken with the use of his remote camera. The beauty of this methodology is that it is “non-invasive,” meaning no animals were harmed or significantly influenced by the observers. “Hopefully, citizen scientist volunteers can help make a positive difference for sustainability of our perishable and precious natural world,” said Kalon. “This is very empowering for an avid nature enthusiast, such as myself. Average people can make a difference.” Congratulations and thank you to Kalon, Dan, and our research partners at Wild Things Unlimited for their extraordinary efforts and perseverance necessary to collect this exciting new information, which we will use in our work to help ensure the long-term survival of these magnificent animals in this wild and remote area of Montana. Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Helicopter gunning kills 23 wolves in Idaho; Urge Secretary Jewell to abandon gray wolf delisting proposal — Call your representative by March 14; Washington wildlife agency urged to end support for abolishing federal wolf protections; The latest on Governor Otter’s wolf control board. Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential. California’s Rim Fire: Opportunities Rise from the Ashes After California’s devastating Rim Fire, will officials take the opportunity to give nature a chance to fully recover?