Posted by: cherylyoung | July 10, 2012

I am reposting this blog because it is most popular for whatever reason so enjoy it

 

 

The Wolverine usually prefers remote areas far

away from humans and development, can travel

up to 40 K during it’s daily hunting activities

 is known by a variety of descriptive names,

including “skunk-bear,” because it marks its food

and various landmarks with urine and musk 

has one of the most striking pelts of all fur-bearing

animals

 

 Although the wolverine Gulo gulo belongs to the

 weasel family, Mustelidae, it is not long and lean

 like a weasel, but short and thick, like a small bear.

 

Its head is broad and round, with small eyes and

short rounded ears.

 

Its legs are short and sturdy, with five toes on each

foot.

 

Its long, curved claws are semi-retractile, which

means they can be partly drawn back in, and they

 are used for climbing and digging.

 

Its teeth are strong, and its head, neck, and

shoulder muscles are well developed.

These adaptations allow the wolverine to feed on

 frozen flesh and bone, and they provide a clue as

to how wolverines survive.

 

An adult wolverine is about the size of a medium-

sized dog.

 

Adult males weigh about 12 to 18 kg, adult females

about 8 to 12 kg.

 

Wolverines that live in the north of their range are

 usually larger than those living farther south.

 

The wolverine has one of the most striking pelts

of all fur-bearing animals.

 

 Its fur is typically a rich, glossy, dark brown.

Two pale yellow stripes originate at the nape of its

 neck and sweep along each flank to merge at the

 base of its long, bushy tail.

 

White or orange patches are common on the chest

or throat.

 

The wolverine’s toes, forepaws, or legs may

occasionally be marked with white.

 

 

Within its range, the wolverine occupies many

different kinds of habitats.

 

Wolverines generally prefer remote areas, far away

from humans and their developments.

 

However, the specific characteristics of the wilderness

that the wolverine depends upon are not yet known.

 

Labrador and Quebec, for example, have not been

recolonized by wolverines, despite the abundance of

caribou and undisturbed habitat.

 

This lack of knowledge about wolverine habitat makes

it difficult for wildlife managers to manage the

species and protect its habitat.

One specific type of habitat wolverines need is the

den used by the female to give birth and raise her kits.

 

Finding such a den is difficult. Most dens that have

been found are in tundra regions and consist of a

complex of snow tunnels associated with boulders

or rocks.

 

The configuration of the rocks results in natural

cavities under the snow, which form dens for the

wolverines.

 

Studies are expensive and difficult to conduct because

of wolverines’ large home ranges and low densities.

 

It is not surprising that we are still learning about

the biology and behaviour of this species.

 

Some of the mysteries have been dispelled with the

 help of studies in Alaska, Montana, British Columbia,

Yukon, and Nunavut of wolverines equipped with

collars that allow their movements to be monitored

using satellites.

 

 

The home range of an adult wolverine extends from

 less than 100 km2 for females to over 1 000 km2

for males.

 

These home ranges are the largest reported for a

 carnivore of this size, and in many areas they rival

the home ranges of bears, wolves, and cougars.

 

The size of the home range varies depending on the

availability of food and how it is distributed across

the landscape — the more food there is, the smaller

the home range needs to be.

 

The density of wolverines ranges from one individual

per 40 km2 to one per 800 km2.

Those regions that have the most different kinds of

 habitat and prey, particularly those that include

large ungulates, or animals with hooves, contain the

most wolverines.

 

The mountainous and forested areas of British

Columbia and Yukon have the highest densities,

although these numbers are still low compared with

the densities of other carnivores.

 

Densities of wolverines in Manitoba and Ontario

are lower.

 

The rarity of wolverines becomes readily apparent

when their density is compared with the density

 of other solitary carnivores: one coyote per

0.5 to 10 km2 and one grizzly bear per 1.5 to 260 km2.

 

Wolverines can travel long distances during their

daily hunting activities, up to 40 km, with males

travelling farther than females.

 

They have traditional routes, and they revisit the

same places every year.

Wolverines are constantly on the move, unless they

 have found a kill site.

 

The young leave their home range, or disperse, when

they become sexually mature, at about one or

two years of age.

 

These dispersal movements can be extensive, 300 km

and more for young males.

 

The young females settle within or next to the area

where they were born.

 

The wolverine is known by a variety of descriptive

names, including “skunk-bear,” because it marks

its food and various landmarks with urine and musk,

a fluid secreted from its anal glands, and “glutton,”

because of its voracious appetite.

The wolverine has been described as the fiercest

 creature on earth and a fearless aggressive fighter

that will drive bears away from their kills.

 

It is, in fact, the wolverine’s reliance on scavenging

in order to survive that has given rise to exaggerations

about its gluttony and ferocity.

 

The wolverine is also a creature important in the

 folklore of North American First Nations peoples and

a mammal very well adapted for its way of life.

 

Because of its reputation and conflicts with trappers,

the wolverine was considered a pest by European

North Americans, an attitude that persisted into

the 1960s.

 

Today, wolverines’ numbers are greatly reduced in

some areas, and conservation biologists and wildlife

managers consider wolverines to be animals in need

of protection.

 

Unique characteristics

Few people, even those who spend a lot of time

outdoors, have seen wolverines in the wild.

 

This contributes to the animals’ mysterious

reputation and explains why they are probably the

most misunderstood and one of the least known of

Canada’s wild animals

 

The wolverine is found throughout all northern

regions of the globe.

 

Wolverines are not abundant anywhere, even where

they do well.

 

The species is known for a large home range and low

density, which is a measure of its numbers.

 

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife

in Canada considers wolverines found west of

Hudson Bay to be of “special concern” and the eastern

population, found in Quebec and Labrador, to be

“endangered.”

 

Historically, before the appearance of Europeans in

North America, wolverines occurred throughout

Canada and Alaska, with some small extensions of

this range into the western United States and into the

 Great Lakes area.

 

to watch a video about wolverines you can

go to my facebook or twitter pages.

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