Wolverines in New Mexico

Repost from the old site.
Separate posts on this blog deal extensively with wolverines in Oregon, Washington , Idaho (here and here), Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, Nevada and the Upper Midwest. There are also five posts on the wolverine in California (soon to be published).
This post was split off from an earlier post that got too large, California Wolverine Re-discovered After 85 Years. This particular post will deal with the question of wolverines in New Mexico.
Wolverines may yet exist in New Mexico. Interviews with hunters in northern New Mexico conducted in 1864 indicated that the wolverine occurred in New Mexico at that time. An Acoma Indian interviewed in 1931 said that wolverines formerly occurred in all of the mountains of northern New Mexico.
In 1985, there was a published report of a wolverine sighting in tundra habitat on Latir Peak in the Sangre De Cristos in New Mexico.

Latir Peak in the Latir Peak Wilderness Area in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Taos, New Mexico. A wolverine was sighted in tundra here in 1985.

There have been several other probable wolverine sightings recently in the New Mexico Sangre De Cristos.

Lake Fork Peak in the spectacular Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico. The red line indicates the route taken by mountain climbers who bagged this peak. There have been several sightings of wolverines in this rugged range in recent years, and northern New Mexico was formerly wolverine habitat.

Click the wolverines label at the end of the post to see other posts on wolverines in the US, including many sighting reports and photos.

References

Frey, J.K. 2006. Inferring species distributions in the absence of occurrence records: an example considering wolverine (Gulo gulo) and Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) in New Mexico. Biological Conservation 130:16-24.
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15 thoughts on “Wolverines in New Mexico”

    1. I think it’s a Utah wolverine as it may be about a visit to the Great Salt Lake.
      Thx for stopping by! I have lots more wolverine articles here, some of the best on the whole internet. Nice resume you have and I’m glad you love wolverines!

  1. I was driving on 40 west yesterday and saw a wolverine that had been hit on the side of the interstate, was odd did not think they lived in new mexico.

  2. My wife and I were returning from Fence Lake New Mexico heading to Grants on State 117 between mile marker 25 and 26 at 3:02 pm when she
    spotted an animal crossing the road. What we thought was a fox, turned out
    to be a grey coated Wolverine. It stopped and turned but I could not get my
    camera out fast enough to snap a photo. (12-22-2011) Snowing very hard.
    I was so joyed, but wish I had documented proof that we witness such an
    event.

  3. Somewhere around 2000 I was looking out my kitchen window. About 200 feet behind my home I observed what was clearly a wolverine on a mound that had housed a family of skunks for many years. Never seen it after that morning. I live near Moriarty .NM.
    I had no idea they were not common here. Simply assumed he was a bit misplaced .

      1. I wish now I had went down and looked for footprints. Wasn’t sure if the animal was denning up or passing through, best to keep my distance. I have had people say it had to have been a badger. However as a lifelong nature lover, hunter, hiker/camping and having worked in several smaller zoos I have seen plenty of badgers and a few wolverines. The profile is quite distinctive. This sighting happened in the early AM with the rising sun casting light on the animal not in shadows but with a fair amount of light. There are wetlands to the east of me and large ranches out to the west. I usually see wildlife after a huge rainstorm as in the monsoon season or when the drought drives them out in search of food. I am glad someone is tracking these animals. Had no idea how scarce they are in the lower 48.

  4. Back around 1985 I was visiting White Sands Missile Test Range for a potential job. I was doing around 70 mph, the fence of the range was on my right, Alamgordo was somewhere ahead. Something rather large and furry came out of the left, got to the middle of the road and obviously spotted me coming at it in my little rented Toyota. This thing I do believe was a wolverine. It hunkered down and snarled at me while I scooted around it at 70 mph. I swear I thought it was going to rip my tire off and toss my little rental car off the road. True story, never forgot it.

  5. In the summer of 1986 I was fortunate to see a wolverine while backpacking in the Sangre de Cristos. I was an Eagle Scout hiking at the Philmont Scout Ranch. The Wolverine quickly went up a steep terrain but was clearly a wolverine.

  6. My wife amd I were at Taos Ski Valley 2 summers ago and we believe we saw a wolverine sleeping atop a ski lift operations shack. It was not a bear cub. We stayed about 2 yards away and it eventually jumped off the shack and waddled into the woods. Short legs and dark brown / black in color. I would be interested to know if other wolverine sightings have been recorded at Taos Ski Valley

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