In February, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The public comment period on this proposal closes on May 6, so keep your eyes on the latest news! You’ve probably never seen one of these creatures, because they are secretive and live individually. Here are five facts that you may not have known about wolverines (the non-movie wolverines, that is):
- Wolverines are the largest of the mustelid family, which includes badgers, ferrets, and minks
- Wolverines have five toes on each foot with curved and semiretractile claws, because they’re diggers
- Wolverines have wander-lust! Home ranges of adult male wolverines can range from 100-900 km2!
- Wolverines like it cold – in the more southern part of their range, they move to higher elevations (basically, “where the weather suits their clothes”)
- Wolverines are currently threatened by habitat and range loss due to climate change
If you’d like to read more about wolverines, be sure to check out the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Species Profile, where I found these fascinating facts!