14 June 2012 Watch Out For Wolverines Posted by: John Motsinger | 4 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! 4 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! Reply 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. Reply Bonnie May 27th, 2014 I was please to see that I’m not the only person in Maine who has seen a wolverine! I live in Northern Cumberland County and saw my first Wolverine a few days ago. I come from a family of hunters and forestry/warden people and have been around animals in New England forever. We have a ton of Fisher and Gray fox where I’m at – this animal WAS NOT either one of those. I regret that I didn’t get a picture (and the ground was too hard and stoney for tracks) Reply Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Loggerhead Sea Turtles Catch a Wave Just in time for the egg-laying season of female loggerhead sea turtles, the federal government has designated critical habitat nesting areas in the Northwest Atlantic. Wolf Weekly Wrap Up Five Mexican Wolf Pups Born in Mexico; Buy Stamps to Save Wolves in Montana; Can the Death of An Individual Wolf Predict the Pack’s Future Behavior; Ranchers and Defenders’ Coexistence Experts Brainstorm. What We Must Not Accept Unlike Director Ashe, I believe that the very fact that we now have only a small fraction of the wolves, salmon, and spotted owls that we once had provides an opportunity for the forces of economic development and those of conservation to join together and foster new economic growth by restoring the biodiversity that we have already lost.