Multiple sightings of a wolverine have been confirmed in California

In a rare event, a wolverine was seen three times in California’s eastern Sierra Nevada mountains in May, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Officials believe three different people spotted the same coyote — twice in Inyo National Forest and once in Yosemite National Park, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said. statement.

After analyzing photos and videos from park visitors and consulting with experts and scientists from the US Forest Service, the CDFW determined that the animal was indeed a coyote due to its size, body proportions, coloration, and movement patterns.

“Wolverines can travel great distances, which makes it likely that the recent sightings are all from the same animal,” said Daniel Gammons, CDFW’s chief ecologist. “As only two California wolverines have been confirmed in the past 100 years, these latest discoveries are exciting.”

Suspected wolverine spotted in Yosemite
Suspected wolverine spotted in Yosemite

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

In California, in the last century, one wolverine was spotted in the 1920s and another was documented from 2008 to 2018, the statement said. The latter is unlikely to be the same animal spotted in May, as the average age of a wolverine is between 12 and 13. years.

Now, CDFW officials, in collaboration with the US National Parks and Forest Service, hope to collect a DNA sample from spotted wolverines by collecting hair, feces, or saliva found at feeding sites.

Most wolverines, which are the largest members of the weasel family and look like small bears, usually live in Canada and Alaska. There are also a few of them living in the Rocky Mountains and Cascades, according to the department.

North American wolverine in Canada
North American wolverine in Canada

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In California, the wolverine is a protected species and is listed as threatened Under the California Endangered Species Act. Currently US Fish and Wildlife Service Taking into account the Adding the North American wolverine to its list of threatened species, and it will land with a decision by the end of November 2023.

It is estimated that there are currently 300 wolverines in the United States, National Wildlife Federation mentioned.

CDFW encourages the public to report any wolverine sightings or observations on its website.