Living with Us… Wolverine – Gwiingwa’aage (Gulo gulo)

The Wolverine is the largest member of the weasel family, about the size of a medium-sized dog.  Wolverine have long, glossy coarse brown-black fur, often with a pale face mask and stripes from its shoulders to tail. They have a strong sense of smell and will roam long distances in search of food.  Wolverines are carnivores (meat-eaters) that are primarily scavengers, feeding on most animals they can find.  They also actively hunt small mammals such as mice and rabbits.  Females den under snow-covered rocks, logs or within snow tunnels, and have 1-3 kits in late winter. 

Did you know that Wolverine are listed as a ‘species at risk’, meaning they are likely to become endangered if recovery efforts are not made?  There are numerous threats faced by Wolverine, including climate change (Wolverines need dense snowpacks for denning into the early spring), habitat loss, and the decline in caribou as a source of scavenged meat.  Canada is currently working on a Management Plan to help protect Wolverine from further decline.  There is a significant gap in the documented knowledge on Wolverine distribution and habits in the Matawa homelands; local knowledge is needed from our members so that informed management conversations can be held.  If you would like to discuss your experience with Wolverine in the homelands, please contact Four Rivers at [email protected].

F10_Credit Jacob Seguin_CC BY_NC License

Photo Credit: Jacob Seguin_CC BY_NC License

Wolverine tracks_ Credit Matt Scrafford_CC BY License

Photo Credit: Matt Scrafford_CC BY License