This just in: After checking their first round of rare forest carnivore monitoring stations this past week, Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologists discovered that a very special visitor had been caught on camera in the Selkirk mountains of the Idaho Panhandle. A wolverine! The biologists have confirmed that it visited the station twice, but at this time, it’s gender and identity remains unknown.
The wolverine pictured here marks the first sighting of the season for IDFG in their study of rare forest carnivores. Since 2010, IDFG has been conducting extensive biodiversity monitoring surveys in the panhandle as part of the Multi-species Baseline Initiative. This initiative provides biologists with baseline population data for the management of many species. Rare forest carnivores, like the wolverine, are an important part of this initiative, as their elusive nature leaves much unknown about their presence in the region.
To study these elusive creatures, wildlife cameras, like the one that captured the photo above, are deployed by IDFG biologists and FSPW volunteers to strategic locations throughout the wilderness of the Idaho Panhandle and western Montana. FSPW is now in our second year of cooperation with this study of wolverines and other rare forest carnivores, and our efforts are in full swing. We hope that as our volunteers continue to venture out to their backcountry camera stations this winter, they will have the opportunity to see wildlife of all sorts, and maybe, just maybe, their stations will have a special visitor too!
To learn more about the Multi-species Baseline Initiative and our involvement with the rare forest carnivore project, please visit our Wolverine page, where you will find links to our project partners as well as many resources on the history of these surveys and the remarkable creature called Gulo gulo.