14 June 2012 Watch Out For Wolverines Posted by: John Motsinger | 3 comments | Share: What’s that playful fur ball over by the lake? Is it a black bear cub? A giant badger? No, it’s a wolverine! A similar line of monologue must have been going through Dave Messa’s head last month when he ran into one of the rarest creatures in all of Northern California. Messa was on a solo backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada wilderness when he spotted a wolverine frolicking in the snowmelt near Lake Spaulding. He wasn’t quite sure what he was seeing until he snapped a photo and later verified that it had been a wolverine. Read more from the LA Times. There are believed to be fewer than 300 wolverines in the United States, and this is only the fourth sighting of a wolverine in California since 2008. It could be the only one in the state, so Messa was indeed lucky to have such a close encounter. Watch this news report from FOX News-Sacramento: Messa isn’t the only one getting lucky with wolverine sightings, however. Last week, citizen scientist Kalon Baughan collected photographs from Defenders’ remote cameras in the Montana wilderness that turned up a young wolverine (called a kit). This is even more astounding since biologists believe there are only approximately 35 wolverines breeding successfully in the U.S.! For the past couple years, Baughan had been helping Defenders meso-carnivore expert Dave Gaillard and Defenders partner Wild Things Unlimited monitor important areas for wolverine and lynx activity in Montana and Wyoming. Tragically, we lost Dave at the end of last year in a ski accident, but it’s safe to say that he would have been thrilled to see these photos of wolverines in the wild from cameras he helped set up. Dave’s spirit lives on with every one of these majestic creatures that’s born in the wild! PausePlayPlayPrev|Next A young wolverine kit and its mother were photographed using remote cameras in the Montana wilderness Wolverines are persistent scavengers, always on the lookout for a quick bite to eat Wolverines are exceedingly rare, with fewer than 300 in the United States. Biologists believe there may be as few as 35 breeding adults. Kylie Paul, the newest addition to Defenders’ Montana team, will be picking up where Dave left off, trying to save vital habitat for lynx and wolverines in the Northern Rockies. Keep an eye out for further updates from Kylie in coming months. Go Team Wolverine! 3 Responses to “Watch Out For Wolverines” Lolapowers June 15th, 2012 Too bad teh good people die so soon while the bad weed remains for a long timeRIP Dave! michael Bean April 17th, 2013 Just for the record there are wolverines in Maine. I have seen one to or three years ago while hunting for deer. Last week my father saw two of them last week on his farm and my neice saw one five weeks ago when we had some warm days. We all live in the central Maine area. We haven’t cought any on camera though we have tried. Tom Engelhorn January 20th, 2014 Wolverines need more protection than most people estimate. I hope that Wolverines will be placed on the Endangered Species list as there is a very real possibility that these amazing and awesome animals may be extinct within 50 years. Thanks to the Defenders of Wildlife for their efforts to protect wildlife and educate the public about wildlife. 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?