The wolverine is Canada’s largest land weasel. Their dark and furry appearance may be confused with a small bear or dog. Wolverines are so mysterious and elusive that most seasoned hikers will never spot one in their lifetime. Nevertheless, wolverines are incredible creatures. They have enlarged feet and claws ideal for climbing and digging. Did you know wolverines have the bite strength of a hyena!?
Where it Lives
If Wolverines chose their habitat like we choose restaurants, they would probably be found at an ‘ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT’ buffet restaurant – a really quiet one! Wolverines need a lot of variety in their home range to find the right foods to eat. Large intact forests are important. So too is free access to valley bottoms and high mountaintops.
Wolverines are BLUE-LISTED in British Columbia, meaning they are at risk. Most importantly, wolverines are sensitive creatures. They avoid places where humans create disturbances. Wolverine populations around Lillooet are threatened by highways, the impacts of hydroelectric reservoirs by BC Hydro, forest harvesting, motorized recreation like snowmobiles and ATVs, and also non-motorized backcountry recreation. A recent study suggests there may be less than 20 wolverines in the Bridge River watershed.
What you can do
Wolverines need lots of space. The creation of ‘refugia’ is considered the most important planning tool to wolverine conservation in British Columbia. Refugia refers to large tracts of land or watersheds which are limited to human activities, including recreation, timber harvesting, and other extractive activities. Show your support for protecting land for wolverines. If wolverines can thrive, many other species will too!