We worked with Alberta Trappers’ Association (ATA) to learn more about where wolverines and other furbearer species occur in the province, using trapper-maintained trail cameras. Camera data identified a close relationship between wolverines and lynx in the Boreal Forest Natural Region, with the presence of one species being a strong predictor for where we would find the other. Unexpectedly, marten in the boreal forest were associated with sites that had lower amounts of conifer forest in the surrounding landscape. To investigate fine scale habitat use by wolverines in a landscape dominated by wildfires, we deployed radio collars on animals in north-central Alberta. A total of ten wolverines were captured and fitted with collars over the course of the study. We found that radio-collared wolverines selected for habitat within their home ranges that had higher expected densities of snowshoe hares and grouse, as well as higher expected densities of wolves. We also found that wolverines selected for areas near the edges of recent wildfires but avoided the interiors of these regenerating forests until they reached a medium age (11–24 years).
Alberta Environment and Protected Areas, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., Alberta Trappers Association, Animal Damage Control – A Division of Bushman Inc., Crowsnest Conservation Society, Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd./ Mercer Peace River Pulp Ltd., McGill University, Roadrunner Leasing and Sales Ltd., Shell Fueling Change, TD Friends of the Environment, University of Alberta