Posted on 12 November 2010.
Ever wonder what it’s like to see through a wolverine’s eyes, smell through a wolverine’s nose, and walk in a wolverine’s feet? Ever even heard of a wolverine? (Hint: it is NOT a small wolf). This Sunday night is your chance to get as close as you can to becoming a wolverine, by hearing fascinating stories and watching breath-taking footage of both wild and captive wolverines in Montana’s Glacier National Park and Alaska. Whether you are a wolverine expert or neophyte, you are bound to learn a ton from this film and get very excited about this rare alpine carnivore of America’s western mountains (Hint: it IS the largest terrestrial member of the weasel family).
Catch the first-ever extended look at wolverines airing on PBS this Sunday.
Most of us have never seen a good picture of a wolverine, let alone 60 minutes of beautiful footage of them and the adventurous researchers who do their best follow them through some of the wildest country in North America. Here’s how the film producer Gianna Savoie describes the challenge of making this film:
“I knew from the start that this is an animal that needed its face out there and its story told. I also knew that this would not be an easy feat. First off, they are rare (numbering only a few hundred in the Lower 48 States). Secondly, their habitat is remote and downright ferocious. And finally, they move over vast distances at a constant clip – 20 miles in a day is nothing to a wolverine, despite their ten-inch legs! It’s no wonder they are among the least studied – let alone filmed – animals on the planet.”
PBS Nature’s “WOLVERINE: Chasing the Phantom” will air Sunday, November 14th at 8pm (be sure to check your local listings). Don’t miss this first-of-its-kind footage of wolverines in the wild!
And after the show, go online to visit this brand new website www.wolverinenetwork.org that will connect you with the best information available on wolverines in the American West, and where you can sign up to receive free email updates of wolverine news and events. You can also find out what Defenders and other conservation groups are doing to protect important alpine habitat where the elusive wolverines can thrive.
For Gulo gulo! (the scientific name for wolverines, which means “glutton glutton”)
Written by Dave Gaillard, Northern Rockies representative & wolverine expert
Posted in Alaska, Experts, Features, Rocky Mountains and Great Plains, Video, Wildlife, Wolverine
Posted on 06 October 2010.
Download the event flyer
Defenders supporters in the Bozeman, Montana area have an incredible opportunity to join us on Thursday evening for a sneak preview of PBS Nature’s “Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom” (check out the incredible trailer, above). This unique documentary has some of the rarest footage of the one of the least-understood carnivores as it roams the alpine wilds of the Northern Rocky Mountains and Alaska.
On Thursday, Oct. 7, the film will be shown at The Emerson’s Crawford Theater in Bozeman, followed by a panel discussion with top wolverine experts. Director Gianna Savoie will take part along with Defenders’ meso-carnivore specialist Dave Gaillard and others.
If you’re interested in attending the screening, please RSVP here.
The fascinating wolverine field research that is the subject of the film also inspired Montana author Doug Chadwick’s new book, The Wolverine Way, which chronicles his adventures tracking wolverines around Glacier National Park in northern Montana. Chadwick volunteered with the Glacier Wolverine Project, a five-year study to understand the basic eating, mating and other social behaviors of wolverines.
Can’t Make the Event?
For those not in the Bozeman area, or who aren’t available to come to the event tomorrow, keep an eye out for the documentary coming to your local PBS affiliate on
November 14. And in the meantime, don’t miss NBC’s Jeff Corwin in the video, left, as he examines the impacts that climate change is already having on these snow-dependent critters as part of his series Feeling the Heat.
Climate change is projected to reduce the amount of mountain snowpack and drive wolverines out of their shrinking historic range.
Gulo gulo will be appearing soon on PBS.
Wolverines (Gulo gulo) are adapted to survive the harsh conditions from timberline to the summits of 10,000-foot peaks where they hunt and scavenge for food and dig homes in the deep snow for their offspring. Climate change is projected to reduce the amount of mountain snowpack and drive wolverines out of their shrinking historic range. This shift will have unknown consequences that could spell disaster for the long-term future of the species in the American West.
What Defenders is Doing
We’re working hard to safeguard areas where wolverines continue to thrive. For example, Defenders is fighting to protect wolverine denning habitat from disturbance by snowmobiles in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, an area needed by wolverines to traverse the craggy peaks of southwestern Montana.
Defenders also helped develop a petition to protect wolverines under the Endangered Species Act in 2000. Providing ESA protections would marshal important resources for wolverine research and conservation, and help to eliminate threats like Montana’s wolverine trapping season. Today, fewer than 500 wolverines survive across the lower 48 states.
Posted in Alaska, Climate Change, Features, Rocky Mountains and Great Plains, Video, Wildlife