Woodland Park Zoo: Monitoring Wolverines in the North Cascades

The wolverine (Gulo gulo) has recently recolonized portions of its former range in the North Cascades Ecosystem (NCE) of Washington. Following the recent completion of a 10-year telemetry study conducted by the U.S. Forest Service, ongoing evaluation of the wolverine’s population status across the NCE will require the development and deployment of an effective long-term monitoring program. Working in conjunction with the USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station, we have been testing a summer-based monitoring protocol by conducting targeted remote camera and hair collection surveys in the North Cascades of Washington. Survey designs have been adapted following the first two field seasons. Previous designs included deploying 1-3 run-pole stations (i.e., run-pole, hair snare device, and two camera traps) within 150 km2 hexagonal sample units. During summer 2015 we intend to deploy camera trap stations at a density of 6/150 km2, and to forego run-pole structures. Stations are scented with a mustelid-focused scent lure.

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