Greater Yellowstone Wolverine Project – Evaluating the Impact of Increasing Human Activities in Alpine Habitats (Idaho, Montana and Wyoming)

Project Description

The Greater Yellowstone Wolverine Program was initiated in 2001. Our goal was to conduct the first telemetry-based field study of wolverine ecology in the Yellowstone Region in order to provide facts that would assist State and Federal managers in making more informed management decisions for the species. To date, the eight years of collaborative effort that this program represents have resulted in the capture and monitoring of 38 individual wolverines. From these wolverines we have made great strides toward understanding the basic ecology and demographics of the species at the southern...

Project Map

Publicly Accessible: Yes
County: Teton County, WY
Project Size:
  • 3.6146776E7 acres

Project Sites

  • Site 1

Goals and Targets

Primary Motivations:

  • Public Benefit
  • Conservation Mission

Primary Goals:

  • WCS Wolverine Program Phase II Goals I.SECURE CONNECTIVITY •Predict wolverine linkage zones and develop methods for ranking their relative significance. •Test predicted linkages with GPS data from dispersing wolverines. •Work with local communities, land trust organizations, and local, state and federal governments to find solutions for maintaining open space that provides connectivity. •Inform Transportation Departments of areas where wolverines are most likely to cross roads. II.INFORM WOLVERINE METAPOPULATION MANAGEMENT •Develop technique to survey predicted habitat for wolverine presence, occupancy by reproductive female wolverines, and genetic samples. •Obtain Central Linkage Ecosystem specific data on population size, reproductive rates, survival rates, and genetics. •Continue to compile critical data on denning habitat and the effects of winter recreation. III. DEVELOP MONITORING TECHNIQUE •Test the effectiveness of monitoring the wolverine population with an index of documented reproductions (possibly during established ungulate population surveys conducted by state wildlife agencies) and/or genetic samples obtained during den-surveys.
    Progress: I. SECURE CONNECTIVITY 1. We have begun placing GPS collars on dispersal aged wolverines to collect detailed information on dispersal routes II.INFORM WOLVERINE METAPOPULATION MANAGEMENT 1. In Spring 2008 we began testing use of fixed-wing aircraft to determine presence and occupancy of reproductive females - we sampled 8 mountain ranges and located 3 potential reproductive den sites - 2 of which were confirmed. This may seem a small sample but prior to initiation of this project only 2 reproductive den sites were documented in the lower 48, since that time we have documented 5 reproductive den sites. The 2009 den season is currently underway and and we will continue to test this technique and increase our sample of data on demographics and denning habitat. 2. We provided a report to state and federal agencies in December regarding results to date and future plans.

Consistent With Plans:

  • Forest Plan
  • State Wildlife Action Plan
  • Local Land Use Plan

Targeted Habitats:

  • Forests and Woodlands
    • Mixed Hardwoods and Conifer
  • Special Types
    • Cliff and Canyon

Targeted Species:

  • Wolverine Gulo gulo

Conservation Actions

Action Status Start Year End Year
Vertebrate monitoring Ongoing Management 2001 2012
Adjust/control harvest of native species Completed 2009 2009
Research In Progress 2001 2012


Is the success of this project's actions being monitored? Yes

Quick Facts

Owning Organization

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Managing Organization

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
(Non-Governmental Organization)

Contact Information

Robert Inman (Project Director)
Wildlife Conservation Society

General Information

Project #: 1796
Last Updated: January 17, 2011

Project Relations


Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Bridger-Teton National Forest
Caribou-Targhee National Forest
Gallatin National Forest
Grand Teton National Park
Idaho Fish and Game
Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Wyoming Game and Fish


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