Animal of the Month: The Wolverine
Wolverines are the largest land-dwelling members of the Weasel family. These mammals grow to be as big as a medium-sized dog and weigh between 20 and 50 pounds and live for about 10 years in the wild. They are scavengers, as well as predators, feeding on plants and smaller creatures such as rabbits and squirrels. They have also been known to hunt deer and Caribou occasionally. Wolverines are located in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, the Nordics, and Russia & Siberia in boreal forests and the alpine tundra. Unfortunately, due to climate change and habitat fragmentation, their habitat has been rapidly decreasing in the past few decades. Today, it is estimated that there are less than 300 wolverines left in the Lower 48, mainly the Pacific Northwest. Although the wolverine population in the Pacific Northwest has been declining for years, and even though petitions have been sent to protect wolverines since 2000, the Department of Fish & Wildlife have not declared this species as “Endangered”, thus preventing the creatures from being protected by the Endangered Species Act. Because of their decision to not protect the wolverines, many conservation groups have decided to sue the Department of Fish & Wildlife for neglecting this species, as of December of 2020. Since 2000, the department has been sued 5 separate times for similar reasons involving the wolverines.
How to Help:
There are many organizations that are actively trying to help the wolverines survive.
Defenders of Wildlife and Conservation Northwest are organizations where you can learn more about these creatures and how to help. Additionally, you can donate to the Cascades Wolverine Project, as well as the Washington Wolverine Project.