Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wolverine study to start this winter

Information session next week

Express Staff Writer

Do backcountry skiers keep wolverines from breeding? Robin Garwood, wildlife biologist at the Sawtooth National Recreation area, said she hopes to find out.

"Right now little is known about how wolverines react to recreation use," she stated in a press release last week. "We this study will provide us with helpful information."

Though skiers, snowshoers and other backcountry winter recreationists may never see a wolverine while participating in their favorite sports, Garwood said the animals still may be disturbed by nearby humans.

Garwood applied for a grant last fall to track both wolverines and backcountry recreationists, but did not receive funding until this year.

The wolverine's status has since changed from a species proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act to a species that warrants (but did not receive) protection.

According to a Forest Service press release, the information gathered from this project will assist biologists in determining how wolverines and winter recreationists interact. That knowledge will help ensure that both co-exist as well as possible.

The research project began in 2009 on the Payette National Forest and will be conducted on the Sawtooth National Forest this winter. Recreationists will be asked to put on GPS monitors before heading out, monitors that will likely be available at Galena Lodge north of Ketchum and at well-used trailheads.

According to Garwood's grant application, wolverines are more vulnerable during the winter, the season when they select and use natal dens where they give birth to and raise their young.

Wolverines mate from June to August, but females don't begin to seek out natal dens until late February or early March. Den-seeking females normally stay in a smaller area during this time, and range more widely during the summer.

The Sawtooth National Forest will host an informational presentation on the project Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 6 p.m. at the YMCA on Saddle Road in Ketchum.

The presentation will explain the results of the Payette study so far and explain how local recreationists will be asked to help Forest Service researchers gather information.

Garwood said the project is being expanded to gain a larger sample size, which can lead to more accurate data.

Katherine Wutz:

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.