For the past two weeks I’ve been meaning to write about a conversation that I had with Gianna Savoie about her documentary Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom, review Doug Chadwick’s book The Wolverine Way, and post a synopsis of Jeff Copeland’s snow model paper. But last week I learned that I’d received a substantial grant to return to Mongolia to look for wolverines there (!) as part of a longer term, large scale study of wildlife and climate change, followed quickly by a series of conversations about a possible PhD associated with the upcoming Mongolia research. Added to a carnivore conservation meeting that NRCC will be facilitating in Montana, and an absolutely necessary diversion choreographing and filming a Bollywood-esque dance number in support of river conservation with a bunch of friends over the weekend, my head has been spinning (literally, during the dance; figuratively for the rest of the time.)
The Wildlife Film Festival is underway in Missoula, Montana this week, and Gianna’s film is showing tomorrow, Thursday the 13th, at 12:30, and on Saturday the 15th at 5:30. The film won a ‘Made in Montana’ award and was also recognized for outstanding scientific content. And it also features some of the only footage you will ever see of live wolverines. The schedule is available at the film festival’s website. PBS will air the documentary in November, so if you can’t make it to Missoula this week, keep your eyes open for the film this fall.
The Missoulian published an article today about Glacier National Park’s centenary. 100 years after its founding, Glacier’s namesake features are nearly gone. Glacier hosts what is probably the most robust wolverine population in the Lower 48, and the ecological shifts that are occurring there as a result of climate change could have serious effects on wolverines throughout the Rockies, not to mention a host of other high-altitude species.
Finally, in my few opportunities to check on the blog over the past week, I’ve noticed that a number of people have arrived here in search of information about and pictures of baby wolverines. In fact, over the existence of this blog, ‘baby wolverines’ and searches for information about reproduction are some of the most common terms leading people here. So if any of you arrive here looking for information about wolverine kits, I think it’s great, and I’m curious – is a class somewhere doing a project on wolverine ecology? Or are people just generally interested in baby wolverines? I would love to know, so leave a comment if you happen to be so inclined. For the best information on all aspects of wolverine life history and ecology, organized in a way that is much more accessible than a blog, please visit The Wolverine Foundation’s page on life history. There are links there to information about denning and reproduction that you will find interesting. Unfortunately there aren’t so many great pictures of baby wolverines out there, but I promise to do my best to take some if I ever stumble across a den.