Study: Wolverines need refrigerators

[That headline is from the Wildlife Conservation Society press release, printed as is. And why do Wolverines need refrigerators? The climate is getting warmer of course.  – Anthony]

Will insects and bacteria consume more of the wolverine’s food if the climate warms?

Caption: This is a wolverine. Credit: Mark Packila, WCS

Wolverines live in harsh conditions; they range over large areas of cold mountainous low-productivity habitat with persistent snow. The paper suggests wolverines take advantage of the crevices and boulders of the mountainous terrain, as well as the snow cover to cache and “refrigerate” food sources such as elk, caribou, moose and mountain goat carrion, ground squirrels and other food collected during more plentiful times of year. These cold, structured chambers provide protection of the food supply from scavengers, insects and bacteria. In addition, the refrigerated caches increase the predictability of available food resources, reduce the energy spent by females searching for food while in lactation phase, and decrease the time mothers spend away from cubs.

The paper appears in the current edition of the Journal of Mammalogy and was co-authored by Robert M. Inman of WCS, Audrey J. Magoun of Wildlife Research and Management, Jens Persson of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and Jenny Mattisson of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research.

“People don’t normally think of insects and microbes as being in competition for food with wolverines,” said lead author Robert Inman of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s North America Program. “But in fact, bacteria will devour an unprotected food source if that source is available.”

Through an extensive literary review, the authors noted that wolverine reproduction is confined to a brief period of the year, and the lactation phase in females (February through April) corresponds to a period of low availability of food resources. Wolverines, which are opportunistic foragers, have adapted by amassing food caches during the preceding winter months when food is more readily available. Without the cached food supply or an unforeseen alternative (such as a winter-killed ungulate), early litter loss occurs.

Inman said, “Understanding why and how wolverines exist where they do and the various adaptations they have evolved to eke out a living will better inform population management strategies and conservation of the species.”

Climate change will play a key role in management planning for the conservation of wolverines, the authors say.

In a study published in 2010, wolverine biologists demonstrated a relationship between the areas where wolverines exist (their distribution) and persistent snow cover. The first theory advanced was that wolverines must have deep snow available in springtime so that they can give birth to their small cubs in a warm, secure den. The newly released study suggests that other factors related to climate and snow pack, such as competition for food, may also be involved in explaining the limits to wolverine distribution.

Because of their dependence on snow pack, wolverines were recently listed as warranted for protection under the Endangered Species Act due in large part to the threat of climate change reducing distribution and habitat connectivity. The authors say that a deeper understanding of how and why wolverines use snow pack the ways they do is critical to understanding how climate change will impact survival and reproductive rates.

“Shedding light on the specific mechanism of how climate will affect wolverines is important in order to know what to do to help them hold on,” said WCS’s North America Program Director, Jodi Hilty.

Inman and co-authors published a study in December of 2011 on the spatial ecology of wolverines in the Journal of Wildlife Management. This latest paper represents the second of several that will help to inform a conservation strategy for the species.

###

Soon to be requested: Air conditioners for polar bears, chilled water systems for Penguins, and snow machines for reindeer, because as we’ve been told, nature didn’t equip these species with adaptation genes /sarc

67 thoughts on “Study: Wolverines need refrigerators

  1. How did this species of animal survive the MWP or is this a species that evolved during the Little Ice Age?

  2. As wolverines have been around since, at least, the last glaciation I suggest their response to this would be: if you eff off and leave us alone we’ll be fine. Much like the polar bear, hunting has been the problem along with habitat incursion. As usual, absolutely nothing to do with globull warming.

  3. One has to wonder whether the need for their refrigerators isn’t a direct result of the harsh climate, and if it become less harsh, the need for a refrigerator would disappear as food become more abundant.

  4. I thought immature wolverines were called undergrads. Now I find I’ll have to refer to them as cubs.
    O – H…

  5. I’m rather guessing the wolverine will be just fine. In fact, it should be our battle cry when the Russians Chinese North Koreans?!? Invade.

  6. Oh dear. The cute cuddly wolverines need help … just like the cute cuddly polar bears did.
    If there is an animal with the personality to survive—at any cost—it’s a wolverine. If the
    Polar Bear is the “Canadian Land Shark” these animals would be the Canadian Land
    Barracuda …
    .

  7. This must be one of the most pointless articles I have ever read, talk about stating the obvious!
    Like most articles of course you must read between the lines, which simply says; we need money for more research and by using the magic words”climate change”, low and behold, the money shall appear.

    Soon to be requested: Air conditioners for polar bears, chilled water systems for Penguins, and snow machines for reindeer, because as we’ve been told, nature didn’t equip these species with adaptation genes /sarc
    Tut, tut Anthony, just think of all the CO2 that will be released into the atmosphere, but hang on, there could then be more money released to carry out studies into ESIGW (Endangered Species Induced Global Warming) !!

  8. What is needed is an ‘Insect and Bacteria Conservation Society’ so they can better manage the balance concerning the needs of both.

    :)

  9. What little I’ve read about wolverines suggested that they were more opportunistic and hardier than the fragile creatures described in this article. Guess this goes to show that we really do need a static climate if any of these selected critters are to survive.

  10. I love the mindset.
    `today we are studying wolverines, the information we get is what we need to “better inform population management strategies and conservation of the species.”
    There does not seem to be a shred of humility there to even consider that wild animals may not want or need a human created (with all its flaws) management and conservation strategy.
    They havent done particularly well with the polar bears, the recent population anomaly is frightening, and it took only human created satelite and the population of penguins doubled.
    etc etc etc

    My history book suggests that nature has a damn good way of looking after itself with the biodiversity issue over the short celestial life span of the earth, some species die off, some are created (mutate over time), and some continue.
    carpe diem !

  11. Here is where most of their paper was ‘lifted’ (from cited reference):

    http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolverine/75FR78030.pdf

    “On July 8, 2008 we received a Notice of Intent to Sue from Earthjustice alleging violations of the Act in our March 11, 2008, 12-month finding. On September 30, 2008, Earthjustice filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court, District of Montana, seeking to set aside and remand the 12-month finding back to the Service for reconsideration. On March 6, 2009, the Service agreed to settle the case with Earthjustice by voluntarily remanding the 12-month finding and issuing a new 12-month finding by December 1, 2010. Following the settlement agreement, the court
    dismissed the case on June 15, 2009, and ordered the Service to comply with the settlement agreement. On April 15, 2010, the Service published a Notice of Initiation of a 12-month finding for wolverines in the contiguous United States (75 FR 19591).”

  12. The paper suggests wolverines take advantage of the crevices and boulders of the mountainous terrain, as well as the snow cover to cache and “refrigerate” food sources such as elk…

         This was the interesting bit to me.
         If wolverines are “aware” of the value of refrigeration (regardless of how they became aware) it seems to take the intelligence of animals a step forward; and I’m amazed and pleased.
         Something like crows using implements to dig food out of otherwise unreachable places.
         And Man discovering a well-thrown rock shortened a hunt.
         (But just wait until the wolverines begin contemplating climate change, the discipline which does not appear to require any great depth of knowledge, and absolutely no wisdom… Should be a shoo-in for them.)

  13. “These cold, structured chambers provide protection of the food supply from scavengers”

    Wolverines are scavengers living mainly on carrion (finding dead animals). This is what led to the stories of wolverines poaching trap-lines, and when a trapper was in the area the trapper became the hunted. Wolverines are second only to the honey-badger in the ‘I don’t back down form anything, get the [snip] away from my food’ department.

    If you actually see a wolverine in the wild then you have a problem, more of a problem then if you see a bear. They don’t scare, they don’t run and they don’t back down and they don’t give up.

    If the enviro-socialists are concerned about the wolverines and really want them to be more common then they should just instruct the roads department to chuck all road kill into the closest treed area. The wolverine lot would improve and it would bring a whole new level of commitment to the people providing road-side assistance for drivers.

  14. Another “If we don’t bring them socialism and government benefits they will never survive.” study…

    Seems even animals must be brought under the complete umbrella of socialism.

  15. “they are tenacious predators with a taste for meat. Wolverines easily dispatch smaller prey, such as rabbits and rodents, but may even attack animals many times their size, such as caribou, if the prey appears to be weak or injured. These opportunistic eaters also feed on carrion—the corpses of larger mammals, such as elk, deer, and caribou. Such finds sustain them in winter when other prey may be thinner on the ground, though they have also been known to dig into burrows and eat hibernating mammals.”

    http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/wolverine/

    “Such finds sustain them in winter when other prey may be thinner on the ground”

    So it could be said that things are easier in the summer if you are a wolverine.

  16. “Shedding light on the specific mechanism of how climate will affect wolverines is important in order to know what to do to help them hold on.”

    You’re joshin’ me, ain’tcha Jodi! Jodi?? (Sound of tenacious claw-skritching from nearby refrigerated rock-face)

  17. Has anyone else realized the great career opportunities that this global warming thing is going to open up? I just realized that there is going to be a huge opening for barbers… to shave all that unnecessary thick winter fur off the grizzly bears and wolves so they aren’t too warm in the mild/nonexistent winters we’re going to be having.

  18. But can the wolverines get the windmill and solar panel installations through local zoning and environmental impact regulations to power those refridgerators?

  19. Completely bullshit. Wolverines are scavengers. They can adapt to almost everything.
    The biggest enemy is human.

  20. “People don’t normally think of insects and microbes as being in competition for food with wolverines,” said lead author Robert Inman of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s North America Program. “But in fact, bacteria will devour an unprotected food source if that source is available.”

    You mean insects and bacteria will devour dead meat laying out in the wild? Wow, am I glad he told me this. I never would’ve known.

  21. Wolverines are incredibly ferocious predators, despite their size, From Wiki

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolverine

    “The wolverine is a powerful and versatile predator and scavenger. Prey mainly consists of small to large-sized mammals and the wolverine has been recorded killing prey such as adult deer that are many times larger than itself. Prey species include porcupine, squirrel, beaver, marmot, rabbit, vole, mice, shrew, lemming, caribou, roe deer, white-tailed deer, mule deer, sheep, moose, and elk.[12] Smaller predators are occasionally preyed on, including martens, mink, foxes, canada lynx, weasels, Eurasian lynx,[13] and coyote and wolf pups. Wolverines often pursue live prey that is relatively easy to obtain, including animals caught in traps, newborn mammals and deer (including adult moose and elk) when they’re weakened by winter or immobilized by heavy snow. The diet is sometimes supplemented by bird’s eggs, birds (especially geese), roots, seeds, insect larvae and berries. A majority of the wolverine’s sustenance is derived from carrion, which they depend on almost exclusively in winter and early spring. Wolverines may find carrion themselves, feed on it after the predator is done feeding (especially wolf packs) or simply take it from another predator. Whether eating live prey or carrion, the wolverine’s feeding style appears voracious, leading to the nickname of “glutton” (also the basis of the scientific name). However, this feeding style is believed to be an adaptation to food that is scarcely encountered, especially in the winter.[14]

    Armed with powerful jaws, sharp claws, and a thick hide,[15] wolverines, like most mustelids, are remarkably strong for their size. They may defend kills against larger or more numerous predators. There is at least one published account of a 12 pounds (5.4 kg) wolverine’s apparent attempt to steal a kill from a black bear (adult males weigh 400 to 500 pounds (180 to 230 kg). Unfortunately for the mustelid, the bear won what was ultimately a fatal contest.[16] Another account placed a polar bear of unknown age and weight together with a similar wolverine where the smaller, tenacious predator came out the victor.[17][18] Interestingly, while wolverines have dominated wolves in competitions over a carcass, some wolves become habituated to predating wolverines and, in such cases, wolves may lead to a complete absence of wolverines in a given area.[8]

    Wolverines inhabiting the Old World (specifically, Fennoscandia) are more active hunters than their North American cousins.[19] This may be because competing predator populations in Eurasia are not as dense, making it more practical for the wolverine to hunt for itself than to wait for another animal to make a kill and then try to snatch it. They often feed on carrion left by wolves, so changes in the population of wolves may affect the population of wolverines.[20] Wolverines are also known on occasion to eat plant material.[21]”

    I think they’ll be just fine!

  22. even the lower latitudes of Canada are frozen in the time period in question. (feb to apr.).

    this is more dumb alarmist agenda creation.

  23. Four years ago a wolverine moved south into the Tahoe National Forest north of Truckee CA for the first California sighting in several decades

  24. Can ecologist/animal studies folks start studying changes in range of various species in response to a new ice age that (worst case) reaches a clearly identifiable (and disturbingly) unstoppable onset over as little as a 10-20 year period?

    People like me need to know if wolverines will encroach upon my southern New England (USA) chicken coop, requiring me to do some reinforcement upgrades in my lifetime.

  25. What this idiotic paper is saying is:

    Meat rots quicker when warm compared to being refrigerated.

    I can imagine someone thinking about 50,000 years ago that humans will need fridges if they want their food to last longer. What an utter waste of paper.

  26. Wolverines present a particular problem for the Madison Avenue public relations firms. Remote, viscious and physically unattractive mammals do not have the tear drop capacity of sea otter, harp seals and polar bear clubs. Rebranding will require routine Hollywood make-over and a less threatening name change. Strong familial links will allow easy transition to the related bear populations. Current focus group selections include Pandarines or Kolarines. Expect happy meal action figures and interactive, life function correct stuffed cuddlies to follow. Soon the “Adopt a Pandarine” movement will be able to provide a long term solution to the insect and bactaria intrusion.

  27. “… Because of their dependence on snow pack, wolverines were recently listed as warranted for protection under the Endangered Species Act due in large part to the threat of climate change reducing distribution and habitat connectivity …”

    ==============

    Due to the THREAT of climate change?

    The Endangered Species Act needs serious redefining. Seriously, I would say that 90% of the Act’s current interpretation needs to be eliminated. A law that is abused to the degree of the ESA is a bad law. Better none that as it stands now. Same goes with the EPA. Hell probably half of the federal agencies are built and expanded upon bogus premises such as the ESA and EPA interpretations of federal regulations. The so-called ‘environmental’ lobby will lead to the downfall of true and necessary protections.

  28. I don’t know where wolverines live in terms of altitude, but if the world warms by 4C they will only have to move up 2000ft to find the same conditions they’re living in today.

  29. Think Tank Update ! ! !

    “Adopt a Pandarine” is judged tame and formulaic….the great success in ‘outcome based re-education’ has allowed marketing to suggest going ‘all in’ and calling this campaign just what it is….

    PANDERING FOR PANDARINES !

  30. All the wolverines have to do is to look out for all the pikas baking to death in the noonday sun, too stupid to move the short distance uphill to the snowline.

    “But in fact, bacteria will devour an unprotected food source if that source is available.”

    That’s a cracker of a quote – presumably there’s no evidence for bacteria consuming food that’s not available?

    A fair number of climate scientists, conservationists and zoologists must have been born in the MWP – the Mid-late 20th.century Wonk Period., when the Good Lord was running short of fully-developed brains, and issued them preferentially to realists and sceptics.

  31. If a wolverine can triumph over a polar bear (per Chuck L, above) we seem to have an ethical dilemma for those who feel intervention in nature is required. Which animal’s interests are wildlife specialists supposed to look out for?

    At the root of all this we have a societal problem of too many funded researchers with too much time on their hands imagining that the planet can be managed.

    If that brainpower were to be diverted towards something productive they could be a help to our survival rather than an annoyance. Instead we get this curious mix of self-abasement (Humans are the problem) and hubris (The Authors can help with the solution). I can only resolve that contradiction by concluding that many earnest scientists don’t believe that they are human.

  32. Sounds kooky but they’re serious and I am looking forward to their findings about how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

  33. I have seen wolverines in the Milk River drainage near Malta, MT. Somehow they survive the 90-100+ F summers on lowland prairie nowhere near mountains.

  34. Turning things around a bit to demonstrate the implicit fatuosity of the article: As the cold-phase PDO deepens some scientists will worry,

    Headline: “Will wolverines consume more of the insects’ and bacteria’s food if the climate cools?

    Concerned scientist: “People don’t normally think of wolverines as being in competition for food with insects and microbes,” said lead author Ibert Ronman of the Wildbug Conservation Society’s North America Program. “But in fact, wolverines will devour an unprotected food source if that source is available.

    What I find fatuous about the topic is not the impulse to study wolverines, but the opportunistic use of global warming to manufacture a specious context. One after another, all such studies have the same implicit fulcrum on which their concern is leveraged: that all species live on a razor-thin ridge of survival, and any tiny change in temperature will slide them off into the abyss of extinction.

    It’s a sign of how far the normative has slipped into foolishness that such stuff is now viewed as legitimate. It’s Hannah Arendt’s thesis about the banality of evil, now operating in science. Except in science we’re not witnessing the migration of social morality into evil, but rather the migration of hard-minded scientific acuity into flabby sanctimonious cultism.

  35. Several years ago my son was confronted by a very aggressive wolverine while tree planting in the coast range of British Columbia. He and his fellow workers ran and jumped into the box of a pickup and fended him off with shovels until he turned and disappeared into the brush. This was well below the permanent snow essentially in the rain forest (They don’t cut down sticks in BC). I’m sceptical of this confident, territorial, sturdy fellow needing much help in a forest of abundance.

    I’m also sceptical of the knowledge that activist wildlife experts possess after their losing a colony of emperor penguins (later found by NASA in satellite imagery).

    “Caused by climate change?

    The cause of the disappearance is not clear-cut, but the EVIDENCE indicates a connection to climate change”.

    http://bing.search.sympatico.ca/?q=missing%20emperor%20penguins&mkt=en-ca&setLang=en-CA

    Or the devastation of certain polar bear colonies. They eventually were spotted by air
    somewhere else and this final incident in a chain of failures at last took the polar bear off the main posters. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard much about the decline of the emperor penguin since this gaff either. Like the word “mistake” in social sciences (e.g. Snodgrass went on a 10 year binge of breaking and entry and armed robbery. He is sorry for his ‘mistakes’ and asked for leniency), ‘Evidence’ has lost its unequivocal meaning and is now a post normal science term to toss out in lieue of real data.

  36. H.R. says:
    July 14, 2012 at 2:33 am
    I thought immature wolverines were called undergrads. Now I find I’ll have to refer to them as cubs.
    O – H…
    =======================================================================
    I – O!
    Are those cows still frozen in that shelter in Colorado? Maybe the wolverines just need a map.

  37. I had the good fortune to see a wolverine while mountain climbing in the Alaska Range during the early 1960s. We were proceeding up a small glacial valley when we saw it moving in the same direction on the other side of the valley. It loped over the rock-strewn moraine in an almost ape-like manner, and appeared impressively powerful. Our good fortune extended further in that the wolverine seemed not to notice us.

  38. The study is fine except for how much do they know that can be proven about the climate and how and at what rate it will change that they can devote so much energy on one outcome and determine how a species will act and call it science?

    Unable to sell climate change they are now attempting to sell the consequences of climate change.

    The wolverine kill elk and elk have been known to attack trucks.

  39. Interesting that the suggestion of refrigerators for wolverines is an acceptance of adaption as a solution rather than mitigation. How can we get them to apply that reasoning to people?

    Has anyone registered the RefrigeratorsForWolverines.org domain yet?

  40. Wolverines, like many other species have survived the greatest threat possible, humans. They surely don’t need any more help from us but I suspect substantially less habitat distraction would be useful. These animals were common across North America in such places as Ontario, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Upper Michigan and so on, pre ±1880. What these “believers” seem not to understand about animals like Wolverines is their present habitat is more refuge then normal range which was much further south in the past. Hay like all of us northerners a little more warm is a welcome thing. You got to live here to understand it.

  41. There is something to be said for providing the necessary funding to send a large number of these folks out to research the wolverine in its natural habitat. Given that that habitat is some of the most rugged and perilous available and that, in general, these folks seem to have developed their entire concept of Nature from too many repeat viewings of “Bambi” when they were children, having large numbers of them blundering about in pursuit of wolverines will greatly enhance the opportunities for “The Darwin Effect” to come into play i.e. Nature weeding out the stupid. There would seem to be a significant possibility that our future selves could be burdened by fewer examples of this kind of BS, by simply giving them exactly what they ask for and letting Nature take its course.

  42. Let’s not forget to give a figurative ‘gag me with a spoon’
    every time you see them mis-use ‘Climate Change’
    as shorthand for ‘Every disaster we’re predicting’.

    The sheer arrogant smugness of their presumption defies reality,
    for as long as they repeat it by the thousands, every minute,
    ‘Climate Change’ means ONLY what they want it to,
    a ‘threat’ they will ‘combat’ by destroying our prosperity & freedom.

  43. “The authors say that a deeper understanding of how and why wolverines use snow pack the ways they do is critical to understanding how climate change will impact survival and reproductive rates.”
    ###

    … is critical to understanding how to use wolverines as tools of propaganda.

    It easy. The wolverine ( with the totally awesome name Gulo gulo!) is so poorly known, that all these “studies” need to do is to report the possibility of negative impacts while leaving out information regarding the wolverines adaption strategies.

    Those who use the wolverine as a tool to destroy capitalism, are the enemy of the wolverine. Only a wealthy nation has the resources to do things like protect these animals. Its a shame that everyone doing research has gone through the Marxist propaganda program known as a wildlife management curriculum!

  44. An animal that lives in a “harsh” environment, is surely a hardy animal.

    It looks like a carrion eater to me (I know nothing of them), wouldn’t the smell of a rotting bacteria laden carcass attract them, and thereby feed them? Not exactly competition, unless your the bacteria who wants a good feed and breed before being eaten yourself by said carion eaters.

  45. Of course Wolverines need refrigeration. How else you gonna’ keep the burgers fresh on the way to the tailgater at the Big House?

  46. The paper suggests wolverines take advantage of the crevices and boulders of the mountainous terrain, as well as the snow cover to cache and “refrigerate” food sources…The authors say that a deeper understanding of how and why wolverines use snow pack the ways they do

    Have I missed something, or is the main “fact” behind the scare rather a speculation? Has anyone photographed the “cold, structured chambers,” or observed wolverines actually using snow? And how cold does a cold chamber need to be? In years past (not too many), my family was still using the “cold cellar”, which was just a subterranean area that was naturally cooled by not being artificially heated, and an awful lot of food lasted quite a while, even though probably intruded upon by insects, bacteria, and other competitors.

  47. So, let’s get this straight. There is less food in winter because of the cold and snow. But, if it gets warmer, the amount of food won’t increase, just the competition for food?

    I agree with the suggestion above that these people should be sent out to do fieldwork with the cute, cuddly, vulnerable wolverines. Let’s hope their logical skills get sharpened up in the process, or they might lose some enthusiasm for protecting these killing machines if one of them gets annoyed.

    Poor Yorek says:
    July 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Wolverine = life support system for four claws.
    ————————-
    “When hungry they will dig, climb, and bite their way through snow, dirt, or wood to get to food, such as a hibernating marmot under ten feet of snow (Sleeper 1995).”

    http://bss.sfsu.edu/holzman/courses/fall00projects/wolverine.html

    From what I can gather, they are solitary, have large territories, and the only real threat to their survival is habitat destruction.

  48. Thet wolverine sounds like some mean crittur. I’m a thinkin’ that that guy in the fur hat carryin’ a Sharps who sold me one as a pet fur ma children th’other day weren’t bein’ thet truthful bout un bein so cuddly. I’d better go’n check on the baby,ya’ll.

  49. Wolverines, just like salmon, steelhead, dear, elk, cougar, and bear respond to long-scale oceanic-atmospheric oscillations. As a result of the mountains in the NE corner of Oregon rebuilding snow-pack and being decidedly colder than decades ago, the Wolverine is back and has even been live-trapped and released by a local (someone I know well), much to the chagrin of “experts” who had said repeatedly that not only are they extremely difficult to trap, but have been absent from the Wallowa Whitman National Forest and Eagle Cap Wilderness for quite some time. I would imagine that when my friend contacted wildlife biologists to come and photo said wolverine in said live trap, my friend was ready with a serving of corvidae for each person in attendance at the photo op. He had identified numerous signs of wolverines in the area but no one would believe him. Afterall, he is just an uneducated local boy who, according to college educated experts, wouldn’t know the difference between a wolverine print and his own shoe in the snow.

  50. Pamela Gray says:
    July 15, 2012 at 7:50 am
    Afterall, he is just an uneducated local boy who, according to college educated experts, wouldn’t know the difference between a wolverine print and his own shoe in the snow.

    I used to work at a landfill — I once made an emergency run to the nearest hospital transporting a “college-educated” DEP inspector who didn’t believe me when I told him that pure methane burned so hot, the flames were only visible in the infrared. He gave me “that look” and to prove me wrong, walked over to a standpipe and stuck his hand in it.

    Third degree burns on his hand, second degree from his wrist to his elbow…

  51. “Through an extensive literary review, the authors noted that wolverine reproduction is confined to a brief period of the year,…”
    Through an extensive literary review, indeed. Sounds like a high school sophomore term paper which had been neglected until the weekend before it was due. In about 5 minutes, I did a more extensive literary review of the studies in Yellowstone, Glacier and Canada and still had time to call my old trapper buddy to find out if he caught a wolverine last winter. He did. He does his reviews on snowshoes, but will not reveal the population densities of his chosen trapping areas. Let the remonstrations begin.

  52. Pamela Gray
    July 15, 2012 at 7:50 am

    ###

    Many so called experts are idiots who have never been able to overcome the damage their thought processes sustained while perusing their degree. On the other hand, there are also quite a few wolverine researchers who do have a clue, though most of these are still a little moonbatty. These are the ones who, even at the age of 50, spend the harshest part of the winter on top of glaciers (BTW, I have never heard of any of the authors of this paper in association with wolverines. It looks like all they did was to scan published research looking for an AGW tie-in from the comfort of a warm office). Most of this group will admit that no one knows what the current range of wolverines is and are not surprised at reports of sightings well outside their known range. After all, a wolverine can travel 50 KM in a day over the most rugged territory this continent has, during the dead of winter. It should be a no brainer that they would be showing up in the Wallowa Mountains.

    Wolverines are rather difficult to trap, but trapping is a lot easier then releasing them!

  53. I’m going to have to do all the heavy thinking here. This is a truth – take it to the bank. Wolverines live where they are least stressed. Always have, always will. Same with daffodils. When you have lived among daffodils for a long time you accept this as fact.

    Spot quiz: After the climate boils the oceans, wolverines will live where? Guy in the back says “where they are least stressed”. Winner. Anyone find fault with that?

    It is the same with mountain Shasta daisies, picas, pileated woodpeckers, and alligators. People are a bit different as they tend to gravitate to where they are most likely to copulate and which places anthropologists call “Blue States”. This may also be where they are least stressed and don’t you know we’re only a little grant money away from settled science on that one.

    Here is another wolverine factoid: They are difficult to stress. Pretty much anywhere they hang their carrion is home. Snow berms are fine, but these are not timid critters and if they decide that some fresh buffalo liver sounds like a good nightcap that is what they will have. No place to stash the leftovers? No problem – next week’s menu: Canis Lupus. Mmmmmmm. If hungry they will chew the butt off a skunk. There’s probably a genetic lust remaining in their dark hearts for some fresh wooly mammoth. Nothing says yummy like mammoth in the tummy.

    These guys survived the LIA, the MWP, the Dalton Minimum, the Spörer Minimum, the Maunder Minimum, innumerable Venus transits of the sun, Pliny the Elder, the Beatles invasion, Maximum Overdrive, and more. They’re in it to win it. We have way more important things to worry about. Like Red Delicious apples. They belong on the endangered species list – the Galas are killing them.

  54. Don’t worry about the poor little wolverines. They are one tough, nasty and psychotic bunch of critters. If worse comes to worse they will just kill a polar bear and eat it :)

    Seriously a grizzly will back down from a wolverine rather than fight.

  55. If I was a wolverine, I would consider those insects to be just another crunchy topping to add exotic flavor to my rotting moose carcass; food diversity I calls it, and they can help me get rid of some of that fur that gets stuck in my teeth, while trying to get to the guts.

    But I’ll make a note of your concern, and be sure I kill an extra elk or caribou; maybe a moose so those feisty bacteriums don’t go hungry either, while the missus is busy lactating; with the young’uns.

  56. djaces says:
    July 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    There is something to be said for providing the necessary funding to send a large number of these folks out to research the wolverine in its natural habitat….these folks seem to have developed their entire concept of Nature from too many repeat viewings of “Bambi” …having large numbers of them blundering about in pursuit of wolverines will greatly enhance the opportunities for “The Darwin Effect” to come into play i.e. Nature weeding out the stupid…..
    _____________________________
    Best suggestion I have seen all day. Instead of repeated viewings of ‘Bambi” their parents should have made them watched Lake Placid instead as an antidote.

  57. My good brother, who is generally an environmentalists, said that the deer problem in urban areas is a result of people’s image of Bambi when it should be of a horned monster. That was after deer ate the tops o fhis pea plants. :-)

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