Conservation and Trapping Science

Human disturbance pitting Wolverines against Coyotes
May 10, 2022 06:14 ET

In March this year, headlines across the United States announced the rare sighting of an elusive creature in Yellowstone National Park: the wolverine. In the accompanying photographs, a lumbering, blackish-brown animal stands in profile on a snowy road. The individual, thought to be one of only around 10 wolverines that call Yellowstone home, continued on into the trees and disappeared. But new research in Biological Conservation shows that already-rare wolverines (Gulo gulo) may be imperiled by the expansion of coyotes — with human activity to blame.

Although coyotes rarely make the national news, both coyotes and wolverines thrive in similar habitats, eat similar food, and depend on similar climates. Unlike the wolverine, however, the coyote (Canis latrans) appears in abundance across North and Central America — so much so that the small canines outnumber the largest member of the weasel family by as much as or more than a thousand to one.

Full story here.