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US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Wolverine Futures in a Changing Climate

Snapshot : Rocky Mountain Research Station researchers have demonstrated that wolverines are dependent on persistent spring snow for denning and this factor will be critical to determining the future extent and survival of wolverine populations.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Block, William M.  
Research Location : Colorado and California
Research Station : Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS)
Year : 2010
Highlight ID : 246

Summary

Rocky Mountain Research Station researchers have demonstrated that wolverines are dependent on persistent spring snow for denning and this factor will be critical to determining the future extent and survival of wolverine populations. To build on this understanding, funding was provided by National Forest and Fish and Wildlife Service partners for the Rocky Mountain Research Station to work with the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group to predict where suitable snow might exist for this species in the future. These research results are being used for wolverine reintroduction and by the Fish and Wildlife Service as they examine the wolverine as a candidate for listing as a threatened or endangered species. Colorado and California, places where wolverines were eliminated completely in the last century, are now seen as suitable sites for reintroductions based on this research on predicted climate futures and wolverine needs. Getting reintroduction efforts right the first time is important because there are few wolverine populations to draw from and the reintroduction process is very expensive. The Rocky Mountain Research Station has also found ways to use models derived from current genetic patterns and apply them to future landscapes, to inform land management decisions on current and likely future corridors locations. The Rocky Mountain Research Station has partnered with multiple state and private agencies to provide maps which identify corridor locations which optimize wolverine population connectivity. While current efforts are focused on wolverines, these newly developed tools can be applied to a variety of organisms to inform their potential future in a changing climate.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • National Forest and Fish and Wildlife Service and University of Washington Climate Impacts Group

Research Topics

Priority Areas

  • Wildlife and Fish
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