I’m going to toss out a quote, excerpted from a recent Defenders of Wildlife pamphlet on wolverines:
Recreation, especially during the denning season, is also detrimental to wolverines. The species is so sensitive to human disturbance that cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, let alone snowmobiling, can drive a mother to move her kits to another location. The tremendous increase in snowmobiling in wolverine habitat in recent years is of particular concern. “Female wolverines appear to be most sensitive to human presence during the denning period,” U.S. Forest Service wolverine biologist Jeff Copeland told attendees at Carnivores 2006, the biannual predator conservation conference sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife. Bob Inman, studying wolverines in the Yellowstone area, agrees: “If females are expending energy to avoid humans in the winter, that would definitely affect their reproductive success.”
(Wildlife and Global Warming: Navigating the Arctic Meltdown: Wolverines, available on the Defenders of Wildlife website )
I’ll let this sit here for the weekend – please feel free to offer your opinion on the quote and on the topic of snowmobiles in general. Next week we’ll discuss this quote, the wolverine/snowmobile issue, and environmental advocacy groups in greater depth.