Kootenay National Park
Looks like a small bear with a bushy tail
Eats prey animals, carrion and some plants
Likes lots of space
Lifespan of up to 17 years
Status: Special concern
This animal covers an incredible amount of territory looking for food. Mountains and rough terrain are not a challenge for the wolverine: rather than taking the easy way around, it goes right over steep sections to get where it wants to. Males have home ranges up to 1500 square kilometers.
Wolverines are not picky eaters. Their Latin name, “gulo”, means glutton. They hunt snowshoe hares, other small mammals and birds. In the winter, they often feed on the carcasses of large animals killed by by other predators or avalanches. They will even nibble on roots and berries.
Wolverines need large areas of undisturbed wilderness. This makes them a one of the best indicators of a healthy well-connected ecosystem.
Where to see
This animal is rarely seen in the park. If you spot one, consider yourself lucky. Most of our park staff have never laid eyes on this elusive animal. If you ski the backcountry, watch for wolverine tracks in the snow.
Why are we concerned about the wolverine?
Human activities can disturb the wolverine and carve up its habitat. These threats include: logging, oil and gas exploration, busy roads, motorized recreation and trapping.
What are we doing to help this species?
Parks provide important core wilderness habitat for this wide-ranging carnivore. We are helping wolverines survive by:
- supporting wolverine researchers in the park.
- using remote cameras to find out how wolverines are using park habitats.
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