California’s Only(?) Wolverine Entering Late Stages

Photo by National Park Service
Photo by National Park Service


Fascinating story about California’s only known wolverine.

From the Los Angeles Times:


The animal is now at least 7 years old, says biologist Chris Stermer, with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, meaning death could be imminent and the species would cease to exist in California.

Cameras in the Tahoe National Forest last caught the image of the male wolverine in November near Truckee.

After it was photographed, scientists gathered genetic material such as hair and droppings, so they could keep track of any population changes.

The most recent genetic sampling was consistent with material tested in 2008 and made it clear: There are no new wolverines in California.

Wolverines are the largest land-dwelling species of the weasel family but resemble small bears with bushy tails. The animals are known for their ferocity. They’re found in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, preferring snow and little human interaction.

“Wolverines by nature are elusive,” Stermer said. “They are just very difficult to see.”