Status of the wolverine Gulo gulo in Canada
Brian G. Slough
Slough, B.G. 2007: Status of the wolverine Gulo gulo in Canada. - Wildl. Biol. 13 (Suppl. 2): 76-82.
Wolverines Gulo gulo are found in northern forested wilderness across Canada, in alpine tundra of the western mountains, and in the arctic. They formerly occupied habitats that are now heavily settled by humans in the Prairie Provinces and eastern Canada. Forest harvesting, hydroelectric development, the exploration and development of oil, gas and minerals, transportation corridors and human settlement continue to alter, remove or fragment habitats. About 6% of all current wolverine range in Canada is within parks and protected areas, and 10% of high quality habitats in western Canada are protected. The population estimate for the western population (Yukon to Ontario) is 15,000-19,000 resident wolverines, based on the best available information on densities and areas of occupancy. With the addition of juveniles, the population before the winter trapping season may approach or exceed 20,000. Wolverine populations are apparently benefiting from the cessation of wolf Canis lupus poisoning, harvest closures, advanced trapline and harvest management systems. Recent range recoveries have been recorded in northwestern Ontario and Manitoba, where caribou numbers have increased. Wolverine populations in Canada are stable within the normal range of long-term population fluctuations elsewhere, except locally in southern Alberta and British Columbia where caribou have declined or habitats are becoming fragmented. Wolverines may be extirpated on Vancouver Island. The eastern wolverine population is either extremely rare or extirpated. The COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) status designations are Endangered for the eastern population and Special Concern for the western population.
Key words: Canada, COSEWIC, Gulo gulo, status, wolverine
Brian G. Slough, 35 Cronkhite Road, Whitehorse, YT Y1A 5S9, Canada - e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notice: Some of the information used or referenced in this document is Crown Copyright, compiled on behalf of COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) under a contract with Environment Canada, however, comments or conclusions made by the author using
this information do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Environment Canada or COSEWIC. The COSEWIC (2003) report can be viewed at the Species at Risk Act Public Registry (http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/virtual_sara/files/cosewic/sr_wolverine_e.pdf).