Winter Wildlife Watch

Welcome to our Winter Wildlife Watch Page

This 2014-2015 season, FSPW is conducting a “Winter Wildlife Watch” outdoor field program in the Scotchman Peaks Roadless Area.  Aimed at young adults grades 8-12, we will learn to fine tune our senses as we head out to the wilderness proposal and discover from our observations.  These hikes will highlight educational presenters as well as wildlife camera deployment, retrieval, and analysis.  No previous winter hiking or tracking skills needed!  These hikes and educational presentations are free for interested participants.

Join us as we make discoveries about the wilderness this winter!  Contact mustelids@Scotchmanpeaks.org with any questions.

WinterHikers972
(In) winter and fall… you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show.

-Andrew Wyeth

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Historical Winter Stewardship with FSPW:

From 2010-2014, Friends of Scotchman Peaks volunteers participated in a region-wide presence-and-abundance winter carnivore study in cooperation with state wildlife resource management under ID Fish and Game.  Below you can enjoy our historical data and project details.  Thank you so much to everyone who participated in these studies.

All things Wolverine:  The history of our Wolverine Project

First of a bit of explanation about our studies and partnerships. By studying Wolverines we are really engaged in an exciting “Citizen’s Science” study of an array of Rare Forest Carnivores, including many members of the mustelid (Weasel) family such as Marten, Fisher and Ermine, as well as Lynx. By looking for Wolverines we also find out information about all these critters and contribute to a better understanding of their habits and habitat.

The winter of 2012-2013 marks our third season of partnership with Idaho Fish and Game in studying these rare forest carnivores. With assistance from the Idaho Conservation League, Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education and other community partners we will engage active volunteers to deploy approximately 15 wildlife camera stations.

To study these elusive creatures, wildlife cameras stations will be deployed at strategic locations throughout the proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness of northern Idaho and western Montana. These camera stations provide a simple, effective, and non-invasive way to gather population data on multiple species at the same time. These cameras have documented fisher, marten, ermine, lynx, wolverine, and many other creatures. IDFG is also using their staff to deploy monitoring station in selected areas of the Idaho Panhandle region.

A good introduction to our project would be to view this short (2 minute) video clip which can be found on our You Tube Channel. It’s an exciting series of photos from several early reporting stations showing some of the critters that come to visit:

Click HERE to view the video

You can also take a look at our 2012 field season by going to our 2011-2102 Wolverine Study Facebook album

This group snowshoed into the East Fork of Blue Creek in the Scotchman Peaks to set up a wolverine bait station

This group snowshoed into the Scotchman Peaks to set up a wolverine bait station during the 2010-11 season.

Building Upon Success

We began our partnership and study in the winter of 2010-2011, assisting IDFG with a few stations in the West Cabinet Mountains. The response of FSPW volunteers was amazing, and as a result, the efforts of IDFG were well-enhanced. In the spring of 2011, IDFG proposed that FSPW apply for a grant from Zoo Boise to build upon the Winter 2011-12 study. As a result, FSPW was awarded almost $30,000 to fund the acquisition of additional cameras and hire a part time volunteer coordinator. Idaho Conservation League and the staff of Selkirk Outdoor Leadership & Education  partnered with us on logistics and volunteer recruitment. Many other community organizations have helped with volunteers too!

To read more about the history and general background of our Wolverine project, click on the link, or go to:   The Wolverine Project: History and Overview

This year, the Zoo Boise grant was not forthcoming, but we are committed to continue this important research, and you can help with your money and your time.

How to Donate

To donate is pretty simple. Click this link and follow the instruction on the page.

If you would rather do it the old-fashioned way, send your check or money order to

Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness
Attn: Wolverine Fund
P.O. Box 2061
Sandpoint, ID 83864

How to Volunteer

Volunteering with the FSPW Wolverine Project takes many forms. Monitoring Station Leaders spend several days over the course of the season visiting backcountry camera stations. Others have more limited schedules, but still enjoy a fun and educational trek into the backcountry when they have the opportunity to assist our station leaders. Other Volunteers work in our office in Sandpoint, ID, where they sort through wildlife camera photos and enter data collected from our monitoring stations.

In addition, we have occasional need of motorized assistance to get volunteers to the edge of the wilderness and access stations that might otherwise not be reached during our short winter days.

If you are interested, we will find a way for you to help!

To find out more about becoming a volunteer, write to: mustelids@scotchmanpeaks.org

A Bit About Wolverines

Of all Idaho’s native wildlife, the wolverine and its cousins in the mustelid family are among the most elusive, secretive and shy. The wolverine itself is the size of a small dog and related to weasels, polecats, ferrets, minks, fishers, otters, badgers, skunks and martens. These far-ranging scavengers are commonly associated with rugged, snowy terrain of the Selkirks and Cabinet Mountains. From Idaho to the Arctic Circle, wolverines thrive in places few other species can even survive.

Click on the link below to go to a very interesting webpage for Wolverine tracks and more go to Wild Things Unlimited at:

Tracking hints for wolverines (and more)

To learn more about What We Know about Wolverines go to:

What We Know About Wolverines

Some Interesting Trip Reports

Read about our first field trip of the season this is part of what Citizen Science is all about, the experience as well as the results:

The first foray of the 2011-12 season

More about our first season, winter 2010-2011

Read some background about our project’s first year:

Report from the field — February 2011

Read about the Results from 2010-2011:

Final report: 2010-11 Winter Studies

Our Patron from the 2011/12 Season

The 2011/12 study was made possible by funding from the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund. Their grant allowed us to purchase 27 cameras and accessories, supplies and hire A coordinator. Thank you to Zoo Boise!

Click here to learn more about this grant

Click here to learn more about the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund

Preliminary Results from 2011-12 Season

The last station is down, the photos have been sorted through and we have some exciting preliminary results!  We engaged 147 volunteers who put in over 2,000 hours and found lots of critters. IDFG will analyse the photos and DNA, put them together with their result and produced a final report in late May,

Click here to learn more about our study results

The first foray of the 2011-12 season
Meet Kelsey Brasseur, the Wolverine Project Coordinator
Zoo Boise funds the study
Final report: 2010-11 Winter Studies
Report from the field — February 2011
Tracking hints for wolverines (and mor