Navigation Links
First wolverine radio-collared in Pacific Northwest

The closest encounter most wildlife biologists have with wolverines in the Pacific Northwest is seeing a set of the animal's tracks in the snow. But wildlife biologist Keith Aubry recently got the call he had eagerly anticipated for several weeks.

A member of his research team called from a site high in the northern Cascade Range of Washington to report that a wolverine had just been captured. Aubry, a carnivore expert and research wildlife biologist at the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station in Olympia, Wash., and Jeff Copeland, a wolverine researcher with the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, Mont., rushed to the Methow Valley to fit the young female wolverine with a satellite radio collar to initiate the first scientific study of wolverines ever conducted in the Pacific Northwest.

Other members of the interagency team, including wildlife biologists John Rohrer of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and Scott Fitkin of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), traveled by snowmobile to a remote location south of the Pasayten Wilderness in Okanogan County. After immobilizing the wolverine with a sedative, Aubry and his team quickly went to work to evaluate the health of the animal, take measurements and tissue samples for genetic analyses, and install a radio collar to report her movements to Aubry via satellite for the next 18 months. "With this technology, we can now begin to gather reliable information on the movements, home range, and habitat of wolverines in the Pacific Northwest," said Aubry.

The wolverine is a Federal Sensitive Species and a Washington State Candidate Species for protective listing. Since the mid-1990s, biologists have documented the presence of wolverines in north-central Washington via aerial surveys, remote cameras, and winter tracking.

"What we learn about wolverines from this effort will help us determine the species' status and management needs," said Ro hrer, who is the project field coordinator for the Methow Valley Ranger District in Winthrop.

The capture is the culmination of several years of survey work in north-central Washington to document wolverine presence to begin to understand their habitat needs. "We know so little about these rarely seen animals that this is an exciting opportunity to learn more about their general ecology in the north Cascades," said Fitkin of WDFW.

Wolverines (Gulo gulo) weigh about 20 to 40 pounds, depending on sex and age, and are the largest land-based member of the mustelid family that includes weasels, badgers, and otters. They are primarily found in boreal forest and tundra habitats in the far north, but also occur in mountainous terrain at the southern end of their current range in the Cascades and Northern Rockies. They prey on everything from moose to mice, and often rely heavily on scavenging for food during winter.

"The young female wolverine we collared weighed about 19 pounds, and was in excellent health and condition. She hasn't had kits yet, and is probably just a year old," said Aubry. "It's likely that her parents and possibly siblings are in the same general area, so chances are good that we will collar additional individuals in the traps we've set."

Rohrer and Fitkin will continue to monitor three wolverine traps placed before snowfall in locations where wolverines had previously been detected. The log-cabin-style box traps have been set since mid-January, and are checked every day. They are baited with carrion and provide captured animals with a secure and comfortable space until they are released.

A key reason for conducting this research is the need to understand the wolverine's habitat requirements in the Northwest and maintain the habitat without conflicting with other land uses. With help from satellites 600 miles overhead, Aubry hopes to follow wolverines in the north Cascades for at least 2 more years.


'"/>

Source:USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station


Related biology news :

1. Timing is everything: First step in protein building revealed
2. Emory Eye Center Implants Its First Retinal Chips In Patients With Retinitis Pigmentosa
3. First atlas of key brain genes could speed research on cancer, neurological diseases
4. First-ever Compounds To Target Only Metastatic Cells Are Highly Effective Against Breast, Prostate, And Colon Cancers
5. NYCs First Rapid HIV Drug-resistant AIDS Case Prompts Call to Step Up HIV Prevention
6. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
7. Breast-Cancer Risk Linked to Exposure to Traffic Emissions at Menarche, First Birth
8. Mayo Clinic Researchers Create Obedient Virus; First Step To Use Measles Virus Against Cancer
9. First frozen egg baby born in Canada
10. Human Cells Filmed Instantly Messaging for First Time
11. First North American Encapsulated Islet Transplant without Long-term Immune Suppression into a Patient with Type 1 Diabetes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal , ... MD EMR Systems , an electronic medical ... GE, have established a partnership to build an ... the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution ... These new integrations will allow healthcare delivery ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on ... ... is available in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s website ... SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 No two people are ... the New York University Tandon School of Engineering ... found that partial similarities between prints are common ... mobile phones and other electronic devices can be ... vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 21, 2017 , ... ... 2017. The awards recognize medical centers that have implemented innovative products, services, and ... patient care protocols, competitive advantages, financial impact/value, and market need. The applicants with ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... The team at Cell Signaling ... which attendees will learn about the assembly and topological architecture of mammalian SWI/SNF ... of the development and validation of new high-quality recombinant monoclonal antibodies, participants will ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... OAI, a leading Silicon ... Microfluidics Industries, announces the new Model 800E front and backside, semi-automatic mask aligner ... mask aligners. OAI has already received and installed several orders for the ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... Tunnell Consulting announced today that ... ISPE Annual Meeting and Expo , to be held October 29 through November ... is “Driving innovation to advance patient therapies.” , The ISPE Annual Meeting and Expo ...
Breaking Biology Technology: