How did a (probable) Idaho wolverine end up in the Sierra of California?

Lone, lovelorn wolverine baffles scientists. By Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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.

13 Responses to Lone, lovelorn wolverine baffles scientists

  1. Carl says:

    I recently read that the wolverine that showed up in the thumb of Michigan a few years ago is still alive. Like the California animal no one knows how he got to Michigan. One theory is that he came in with a load of trash from Canada. This animal has managed to survive in farm country. The thumb of Michigan has large potato, sugar beet, and corn fields with scattered woodlots and some wetlands. Amazing that he has survived.

  2. Chris Harbin says:

    There have been a few wolves that have made it to the Lower Peninsula of Michigan as well. as far as I am aware there are no packs. I’m sure crossing the Straits of Mackinaw is no easy feat.

  3. JimT says:

    They are amazing animals, tough as nails and pretty solitary, and require a ton of territory. So, not surprised one would show up where not expected. I am hoping this means the overall populations are healthier than we think.

  4. Layton says:

    Was in Idaho — migrated close to San Fran — looking for “action” —- could it be??? Naaaaw, surely not.


  5. Save Bears says:

    Awe he was just tired of the local action and went looking a California girl, spent to much time listening to the Beach Boys!

  6. Why not trap a female or three and move them to California to join this male. This animal has shown that it is possible for wolverines to live in California. I know there was a live trapping project on these animals some years ago near Stanley, Idaho, so it is possible to catch them here in Idaho.
    Capturing some of these animals to increase their population makes a lot more sense than the capture/radio-collar for a doctoral thesis travesty, that usually happens with wolverines.

  7. Save Bears says:

    Larry, you know that is not a bad idea, but after all the legal wrangling required to do that, it would be at least 15 years before it would ever happen!

  8. Mike says:

    I agree, it would be nie to see a few wolverines relocated to help out this California resident. I’m surprised this hasn’t been done yet.

  9. mikarooni says:

    How did a (probable) Idaho wolverine end up in the Sierra of California? Obvious answer: avoidance of alimony and/or child support…

  10. Carl says:

    Thanks Jeff N. The story I saw on the Michigan wolverine was about a week earlier than the one you posted and was talking about it being alive in January. I wonder if they will do any DNA work to see if they can determine where it may have come from.

  11. Not sure, but have you all seen the wandering wolverine from Wyoming that made it to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado? It also had to ditch the alpine to get across I-80 and some Sage-Steppe country.

    Larry Zuckerman


March 2010


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey