Researchers Using GPS to Track the Elusive Wolverine at Glacier National Park





  1. Pronghorn Avatar

    5000 vertical feet in 90 minutes! Wish I could do that!!!

    Seriously, though, any examination of the wolverine in Montana fails utterly unless the fact is stated that MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks still allows their trapping. This article calls them a “rare species,” states that they are the “least studied animal in the United States,” and calls Glacier “one of the last refuges” for the wolverine. And yet the FWP commission capitulates to trappers who consider the wolverine a “trophy animal” and who make totally egregious, outrageous statements maintaining that the population will “come back” if trapped out. It is absolutely time for wolverine trapping in Montana to come to an end. Citizens need to DEMAND accountability for this species from FWP. And that goes for fishers, too.

  2. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    Just what Glacier wolverines need! GPS Radio Collars around their necks so the researchers can watch them from their office! Glacier Park Bighorns and Bears are outfitted with similar collars.
    National parks are places where animals exist wild and free and UNENCUMBERED by man. (I just read that in the paper they give you when you come into Yellowstone). Someone forgot to tell the researchers and the park superintendent.
    Yellowstone Park biologists are presently trying to trap the one known wolverine in Yellowstone and put a GPS collar on it.
    I visited Olympic National Park last fall and they had radios placed inside the body cavities of the endangered Olympic Marmots. (A park maintainance forman told me the researchers there outnumber the maintainance and ranger staffs combined)
    Four weeks ago researchers were capturing tiny Marbled Godwits in Bear River Wildlife Refuge and putting GPS radio backpacks on them, when I visited there.
    I was watching a member of the Druid pack in Yellowstone two weeks ago, when the biologist’s helicopter flew over. The wolf panicked and cowered in the sagebrush. Yellowstone wolves have been chased,captured and collared so many times over the past 13 years, that they all run and try to hide at the first sound and sight of a helicopter. So much for wild and free.
    Yellowstone coyotes look like sad little clowns with their radio collars and brightly colored ear tags.
    These endless, intrusive studies benefit the graduate- degee- seeking researcher’s job security far more than they do the GPS collared and ENCUMBERED animals.

  3. Pronghorn Avatar

    Larry, that is totally right-on. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve made the same comment in Yellowstone, when yet another bison, elk, coyote, wolf, etc. comes along with a tight, bulky radio collar affixed. We watched four wolves one day at Blacktail Pond–3 without collars; 1 with. Time after time that poor wolf sat down to scratch at his/her neck, while the others went about the business of being wolves. These things impact their lives.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan