Wolverine
Winter 2012/13 season highlights
 

- 25 trappers and 2 ACA biologists operated 50 total run poles

 

- 21 wolverine samples (scat, tissue, toe pad, hair) from 13 individuals were collected from harvested and live wolverines

 

- Marc from Rainbow Lake collected 91+ wolverine hair samples alone!

 

- In addition to wolverine, we collected 24 marten, 47 fisher, 2 bobcat and 10 cougar hair samples, for a total of 202+ samples

VIDEO: Cougar
Cougars at Wolverine Project 2013 
Cougars at Wolverine Project 2013

These images were captured at Tony Cadrain's run pole near Nordegg and put together into a video by ACA project biologist, Mike Jokinen. The adult female cougar in the photos has an eartag - apparently, she was captured and marked by researchers during the Central East Slopes Cougar Study (2004-07).

Let's Go Outdoors 

Michael Short produced a couple stories on the wolverine project.  

Let's Go Outdoors: Season 2 - Episode 12 
Let's Go Outdoors: Season 2 - Episode 12
Let's Go Outdoors: Season 2 - Episode 10 
Let's Go Outdoors: Season 2 - Episode 10
Trappers!
Stay tuned for a summary of your run pole results later this summer after all the data has been entered and analyzed.
Contact us
Have a wolverine story or photo to share? Send it to us and we'll post it in the newsletter. Hope to see you at the ATA Rendezvous in Grimshaw, July 19 - 20
 
Mike Jokinen 
#400, 817 - 4 Avenue S. 
Lethbridge, AB  
T1J 0P8 
403-715-0211 
Shevenell Webb 
101-9 Chippewa Rd. 
Sherwood Park, AB  
T8A 6J7 
780-996-4104  
In a nutshell 
The Wolverine Partnership is a unique research approach that combines traditional knowledge and cutting edge science. The Alberta Trappers' Association (ATA) and Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) are working together to inventory the elusive wolverine across the province. We are using questionnaires, harvest information and field data to determine wolverine distribution, population trends and habitat associations. 
Best photos from
winter 2012/13

Grizzly Bear from the Crowsnest Pass area
 Cross Fox from the Willmore Wilderness
Bobcat from Crowsnest Pass area
2 Fishers at Run Pole near Conklin
Male wolverine from Rainbow Lake area 

Lynx family group near Conklin
  
Meet the trapper

Mike Naef  
Photo: N. Naef
Mike Naef currently runs 2 registered traplines near Hinton. Originally from Switzerland, Mike is a skilled outdoorsman and carpenter, building beautiful custom log homes and cabins. He has a big heart and is an advocate for wildlife and wild places.

In addition to being active on the ATA Hinton trapping local, he sits on forest advisory boards to represent the importance of furbearers. Mike also volunteers a lot of time giving school and public presentations about furbearers.

We appreciate Mike's hard work and dedication to the wolverine project, despite little action last winter, a true test of someone's genuine character. Mike may not have photographed any wolverines, but it was not for lack of trying; his run poles were out for the longest duration of time (5 months).

 

Terry Batt 


Photo: ACA, Shevenell Webb

Terry Batt is a rancher and experienced trapper. He's been trapping for 40 years in Alberta and currently runs multiple traplines in the High Level area. We enjoyed working with Terry and appreciated his regular reports.

His favourite species are wolves. He compares wolf trapping to a chess game, "I make my move and then wait for the wolves to make their move and the game carries on until the end of season." Terry says, "The chess game was also played with the wolverine and the camera stations, trying to get them to climb on the run poles was a great challenge." His persistence paid off when a wolverine finally climbed on the run pole at the end of winter. We were fortunate to spend a day with Terry on his trapline in March and learn more about the beautiful far north. It's great wolverine country up there!
Trapper Questionnaire Results
Our questionnaire analysis revealed new findings about trapper behaviour and wolverine occurrence in Alberta. We received 148 questionnaires representing 125 trappers and 137 different registered traplines (see map).

Responses originated from Rocky Mountains (39%), Boreal (37%), Foothills (23%) and Grassland (1%). The vast majority of responses indicated that trappers always want wolverines present (60%), but they also want to continue to harvest wolverine (42%).

Not unlike other conservationists, trappers indicated that wolverines represented true wilderness to them (42%), while others indicated neutral feelings, that wolverines were neither good or bad (27%).

The mean proportion of traplines that had ever detected a wolverine was highest in the Rocky Mountains (0.82), followed by NW Boreal (0.76), Foothills (0.67) and NE Boreal (0.57).

The top model predicted that wolverine occurrence was negatively associated with road density and positively related to the number of years of trapping experience, trapper effort (i.e., proportion of area trapped), increasing or stable wolverine population trend and trapline area.

We recommend that traditional knowledge approaches, such as trapper questionnaires, be incorporated into long-term monitoring tools to cost-effectively assess wolverine population trends in the future. We will give a presentation about these results at the ATA Rendezvous in Grimshaw.

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