Reclusive wolverines have taken up residence in B.C’s Great Bear Rainforest
Evidence shows the often-reclusive wolverine has taken up residence for the first time on an island off British Columbia’s Central Coast and the animal’s eating habits have changed along with its relocation.
The study, published Monday in The Canadian Field-Naturalist, shows that at least two wolverines inhabit Princess Royal Island, a part of B.C. environmentalists have coined as the “Great Bear Rainforest.”
There are about 3,000 to 4,000 wolverines in B.C., but most of them are in the Interior, in snowy habitats and higher elevations, the study said.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans biologist Tom Shardlow, who authored the report, said it was the first proven sighting of a wolverine in the area.
“The main thing is it’s an oddity,” said Shardlow. “It’s the first time anything has been published that indicates wolverines occupy these islands.”
Wolverines are typically the same weight as a mid-sized dog and live mostly by scavenging from dead animals.
The largest land-inhabiting member of the weasel family, the wolverine also has a reputation for fierceness. There have been reports of wolverines killing caribou up to 10 times its size, according to the Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology.
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