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Colorado Parks and Wildlife is dusting off a plan to reintroduce wolverines

The last confirmed wolverine in Colorado was in 2009

Jason Blevins
The Colorado Sun
This on Feb. 27, 2016, file photo provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, from a remote camera set by biologist Chris Stermer, shows a mountain wolverine in the Tahoe National Forest near Truckee, Calif., a rare sighting of the predator in the state.
Chris Stermer/California Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP

As Colorado Parks and Wildlife maps out wolf reintroduction, the agency is considering how to support wolverines, revisiting a stalled plan to reintroduce the rare carnivore in the state.

The last time wildlife officials confirmed a wolverine in Colorado was June 2009, when a male, — tagged with a radio collar in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and known as M56 — wandered south to Rocky Mountain National Park and even into the Collegiate Peaks outside Leadville.

M56 roamed — as wolverines are wont to do — and eventually reached North Dakota in 2016, where he was shot by a ranch hand guarding his cows. That was the first confirmed wolverine in North Dakota since 1889. (And wolverines, while opportunistic eaters, have not been known to hunt cattle.)



Before M56 ambled into Colorado, the last confirmed sighting in the state was 1919. A dozen surveys by Colorado biologists from 1979 to 1996 yielded no evidence of wolverines. (There have been unconfirmed sightings in southern Colorado, which means there could be “a small but persistent number of individual wolverines” in the Rio Grande National Forest and the southern San Juan Mountains, according to a 2003 survey by the Rio Grande National Forest.)

Read more via The Colorado Sun.




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