Bow Valley Naturalists present:
Wolverine: Why Here and Not There – Mechanisms Influencing distribution in the southern Columbia Mountains
Tuesday February 27th
Banff Seniors Centre (map)
All Welcome, Free admission!
Wolverine are listed both federally and in British Columbia as a conservation concern. These listings are as a result of low population densities and reproductive rates. Identified threats include human disturbance, habitat loss
and fragmentation, caribou decline, mortality from trapping and climate change. In south-eastern British Columbia the current distribution of wolverine is inferred from small and declining fur harvest yields, while in the nearby U.S., populations are at very low levels with wolverine absent from much of the potentially usable habitat. Consequently, an understanding of where wolverine are found and why is essential for effective species conservation in the region.
We used DNA from hair collected at baited trees to detect wolverines in the southern Columbia Mountains from 2012 to 2016. We used our information on wolverine presence and absence to explore potential reasons for where wolverine are found in winter, including climate, food resources, human disturbance and trapping mortality. Understanding the mechanisms driving wolverine presence in the southern Columbia Mountains will allow conservation efforts to focus on critical factors, which should lead to better outcomes. Research into other important questions relating to wolverine conservation is in progress and will be addressed collaboratively using this data in combination with data from Banff and the Rocky Mountain ranges.
Andrea spent most of 15 years in the Bow Valley involved in wildlife research, aquatics and fire and vegetation management
. Working on projects that ranged from glacier monitoring to prescribed fire to whitebark pine, damselflies, amphibians, songbirds, and large carnivores she feels grateful to have seen so much of the tapestry of the ecological community in Banff. Most of her work was on cougars, wolves and wildlife corridors and she completed a MSc. at University of Idaho on wolf and cougar interactions in Banff. Her recent work has focused on wolverine in the Columbia Mountains near her current home in Nelson, B.C.