Wolverines and snow seem to go hand in hand. these large, elusive members of the weasel family seem to float over deep snow on their large furry feet, summiting mountains and crossing precarious ridges with ease. winter is a good time to be a scavenger and hunter as animals weaken in the snow and cold. however, the wolverine’s relationship to snow goes even deeper than that: research has revealed that female wolverines require deep snow drifts that persist into late spring to be successful in denning and raising kits. the problem is, as our climate warms and changes, persistent spring snow isn’t a guarantee anymore, even at high latitudes. wolverines are already sensitive to human encroachment and development of their habitat; if their reproductive success declines too much the species will be at greater risk of disappearing from our mountains and forests. luckily, there are a number of conservation organizations working diligently to understand the current distribution, abundance, and habitat selection of wolverines across their global range, so we can understand how best to advance the conservation of this awesome animal.
it’s a snowy friday here in alberta and across much of canada, so enjoy this handsome wolverine out for a rip through the powder!