About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Real Michigan wolverines are hard to find

The Wolverine Gulo gulo (Gulo is Latin for "glutton") is the largest land-dwelling species of the family Mustelidae (weasels). They grow to about 25 pounds but are ferocious enough to fight off bears and wolves.
Juvenile Wolverine photo from http://commons.wikimedia.org

They once ranged across the northern and western United States but now are limited mostly to northern Canada, Idaho, Alaska and some occasional sightings in other northern states. Until recently, the last confirmed sightings of wolverines in Michigan were by fur traders in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

In 2004, a wolverine was photographed in Ubly, Michigan, 90 miles north of Detroit. DNA testing of this wolverine showed that it was from Alaska. Unfortunately in 2010, this wolverine was found dead south of where it was originally sighted.

The world's total wolverine population is not known. The animal exhibits a low population density and requires a very large home range. The range of a male wolverine can be more than 240 square miles, encompassing the ranges of several females which have smaller home ranges of roughly 50–100 square miles.

Adult wolverines try for the most part to keep nonoverlapping ranges with adults of the same sex. Radio tracking suggests an animal can range hundreds of miles in a few months.

Follow the link if you would like to watch an episode of NATURE as they take viewers into the secretive world of the largest and least known member of the weasel family, revealing it to be one of the most efficient and resourceful carnivores on Earth. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/wolverine-chasing-the-phantom/full-episode/6078/

Related Articles:
- How many species of squirrels are in Michigan? http://bit.ly/yYt6Nb 
- Black Squirrel History & Facts http://bit.ly/AxiqPz 
- Red Fox in the neighborhood http://goo.gl/u0CUqc
- Do opossums hibernate during winter? http://bit.ly/u4ORP6 
- Feb. 2nd groundhogs end their hibernation http://bit.ly/vPHVtx
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