Photo Credit: Jari Peltomaki Wildlife Photography (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JariPeltomakiWildlifePhotography?fref=photo)
In Sweden the name for the Wolverine is Järv. Järv means, bold or audacious – a perfect name for this fierce mammal, which has been known to steal food from carnivores much larger than itself. The Latin name for the Wolverine is Gulo Gulo, which means glutton. Ummm – there’s food for thought!
The Wolverine is a mustelid. As a matter of fact, the Wolverine is the largest member of the mustelid family, better known as the weasel family. The members of this family of animals have long bodies, short legs and musky scent glands beneath their tails. Ugh! The mustelids include skunks, weasels, ferrets, otters, and one of my favorites, the badger. Here’s a picture of a badger. I think you can see the family resemblance.
As I stated above, the Wolverine is a fierce creature, which has the strength and ability to kill animals larger than itself. It has powerful jaws, sharp claws and teeth, and a very thick hide, making it remarkably strong for its size. In researching for this post, I read one account where a Wolverine clung to the neck of a polar bear until it was suffocated. I didn’t look that up to verify it, but after all that I have read, I believe it’s possible.
Wolverines live in remote parts of northern forests, primarily, northern Canada, and Alaska. It is also found in the Nordic countries of Europe and in western Russia and Siberia. The world population is not known. This may be due to the fact that there are low population densities and the animal requires a very large home range. In five hundred square miles, there may be anywhere from six to ten animals.
Although they are not considered endangered by the IUCN, Wolverine populations are, unfortunately, declining. The main reason for their decline is range reduction and fragmentation. Changing climate has reduced its habitat as well. An interesting note here, the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed giving the Wolverine endangered protection because climate change is depleting its habitat in the northern Rockies. Once prolific in the lower US, Wolverine populations continue to decline in places like Montana, the Cascades and Rocky mountains.
This is a magnificent animal, a bit of a loner, but a true survivor in habitats that are rugged, and cold. It was not until the 90s that intense research was conducted. I urge you to take a moment to view the below video and to learn more about the Wolverine by visiting my recommended links.
I thank you once again for visiting my blog, and the Wolverine thanks you for taking a moment to think about him. Please leave a comment.
*IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature
Jeanne E. Rogers, Author
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