Wolverine Study Preliminary Results

It’s Wednesday and we’re still thinking of Wolverines!

The preliminary results from our winter 2011-2012 Wolverine (Rare Forest Carnivore) study are in. And from many measures, this was a stunning success. As a citizens’ science project we are proud to be setting new standards for what it possible!

First a big thank you to all the many volunteers who made this possible! And there are quite a few of you to thank. In fact the number that we would like to most celebrate is that we engaged 147 volunteers who contributed over 2000 hours to this project!

We wrapped up the field portion of the study the last week of March. During the first week of April, our volunteers finished an initial sorting of the nearly 100,000 photos and

Kelsey compiled some preliminary numbers and data:  click here to read the full report.

A word of caution in using these numbers. We feel confident that the presence or absence of species from a particular station is accurate. But determining the number of unique individuals of any given species who visited any given station is beyond the expertise of our volunteers. Hey, most martens, or fisher, all look pretty much alike, right? The expert biologists at Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) will be able to make a better determination of the final numbers based on their trained eyes and on DNA analysis.

Sometime in late May IDFG will be able to present a final report with data including our data, as well as the data that they and other partners collected from across the region.

For now, we know that many folks are anxious to see the preliminary data from “our” 40 stations set across the southern part of the Selkirks and southern part of the West Cabinet mountains.

A Quick Look at the Numbers

  • we engaged an estimated 147 volunteers1.
  • Of those volunteers, 39 were students working directly with their school groups or classrooms.
  • volunteers gave a total of 2,007 documented hours
  • Of those hours 1,741 were spent in the field deploying and monitoring Wildlife Camera Stations
  • The remaining 266 hours were primarily spent reviewing photos, handling logistics such as bait preparation and training.
  • Sighting included at least 41 Marten, 23 Fisher, 20 Ermine, 33 flying squirrels, 7 Bobcat and one Red Fox.  These were from the 40 stations our volunteers set – in addition, we know of at least one wolverine and one lynx found by IDFG on cameras they set out.

The full report can be viewed here on the web page below and is available for download as a PDF file as well:


Next Year and How YOU Can Help

We hope that the enthusiasm for this project will carry over to next year with the same number of, or more, volunteers.

  • If you were a volunteer during this season, we will contact you later this year with more info.
  • If you would like to add your name to our volunteer list for this project,  send an email to mustelids@scotchmanpeaks.org
  • Come to the Panida Theater on Thursday April 26th for the Storytelling Company’s fundraising event to benefit the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. A portion of the proceeds will go to our 2012-2013 Wolverine Project fund.  Wear you volunteer hat and you will be eligible for a special surprise!
  • Consider making a donation to  FSPW to support our project next winter.
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Categories: Blog
About The Author:

Phil Hough is the Executive Director of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

He has hiked the "triple crown": the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest trail (twice). He has also paddled the length of the Yukon river. Phil's love of wilderness guides him as he works to save the incrediblly wild Scotchman Peaks, one of the last and largest roadless places in northern Idaho and western Montana.

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  1. Nice Work. Nice Project. I don’t get to Montana much any more, but I’ll be sending you a check for $1,000. next mail to assist in your work. Do you think I might have a cap. Peter Lupsha

  2. Peter, you bet you can get a cap! What color would you like? Include address with the check and we’ll send off to you! Thanks for your support!


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