Rare and Elusive Wolverine Captured on Yellowstone Trail Camera for the First Time

When people think of Yellowstone wildlife, it’s likely the majestic bison, the herds of elk, or possibly the tourists getting too close to the majestic bison and the herds of elk. One rarely seen animal in the ecosystem was recently captured on a trail camera in the park.

According to a post on Yellowstone’s Facebook page, biologists discovered a wolverine had made an appearance on a camera that had been set up to track mountain lions in the park.

The update says, “Last month, park biologists were excited to find one of Yellowstone’s rarest mammals triggered a remote trail camera outside the Mammoth Hot Springs area!”

PHOTO: PIXABAY/ANDREA BOHL

This is significant because the wolverine population is very low in Yellowstone. In fact, this is the first time one of the animals has been seen on their trail cam videos, which have proven to be useful when monitoring species other than mountain lions.

According to Yellowstone’s website, the wolverine is a mid-size carnivore that is active all year in cold, snowy environments. In Yellowstone, they utilize the high-elevation islands of forest and tundra habitats. Their reproduction rates are very low, and their ability to spread out in those areas is critical to their survival.

Unfortunately, their habitat is being threatened.

PHOTO: PIXABAY/LITOLKA

Yellowstone’s website says, “Climate-change models predict that by 2050, the spring snowpack needed for wolverine denning and hunting will be limited to portions of the southern Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada range, and greater Yellowstone, of which only the latter currently has a population.”

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Though their elusive nature and habitat make them hard to track, it’s estimated that there are fewer than 400 wolverines in the contiguous United States.

To watch the short trail camera clip, check out the video below.

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