Wolverine Spotted in Snake River Valley

Repost from the old site.
Separate posts on this blog deal extensively with wolverines in Oregon, Washington , Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and the Upper Midwest. There are also five posts on the wolverine in California .
This is actually a pretty interesting sighting. We have always known that there are wolverines in the national forests of mountainous central and northern Idaho and there are some sightings in the Hell’s Canyon area of the Snake River along the Oregon/Idaho border, but I was not aware of any recent sightings in the Colombian Plateau of Idaho until I read this article.

The terrain in King Hill, Idaho. Not exactly prime wolverine habitat, but wolverines have been road-killed and trapped in similar locales recently in Wyoming, Oregon and Utah.

However, recent sightings and roadkilled wolverines in similar habitat in the West in Utah, Oregon and Wyoming indicate that wolverines do use such habitats, possibly especially when dispersing.
This wolverine was actually sitting on a telephone pole in the middle of the day near a small town!

A wolverine got stranded on a telephone pole in King Hill, Idaho on March 25 of this year. That photo actually looks kind of ridiculous. Tell me again how these animals hate people so much that they can’t stand to go anywhere near us. Right.

It was spotted along Montgomery Road near King Hill, Idaho. King Hill is located about 57 miles northwest of Twin Falls, Idaho. Wildlife officials were called in and decided to just wait around until the wolverine climbed down off the pole.
The initial caller had reported a badger on a telephone pole, but badgers don’t climb. They can dig a hole faster than any animal alive, but they can’t climb a thing. Badgers and wolverines appear to be relatives – they are both very large weasel-type animals.
There have been two other sightings of wolverines in “the valley” (apparently the Snake River Valley, whatever that encompasses) in the past two years. I don’t know much about the economic base of this county, but at least wine grapes are grown here.

Sagebrush terrain in the Eastern Snake River Valley of Idaho. King Hill is at the western end of the Eastern Snake River Valley. Pretty odd to find wolverines here, but they have been spotted at least 3 times in 2 years in this region.

The fact that wolverines are dispersing out in the Great Basin may mean that some day in the not too distant future they may return to Nevada. King Hill is a mere 63 miles north of the Nevada border.
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

Biodiversity Legal Foundation, Predator Conservation Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, and Superior Wilderness Action Network. (2000). Petition for a rule to list the wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) as Threatened or Endangered under the Endangered Species Act within the contiguous United States . Submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service on July 11, 2000.
Groves, Craig R. 1988. Distribution of the wolverine in Idaho as determined by mail questionnaire. Northwest Science 62(4):181-5.
Predator Conservation Alliance. (2001) Predator Conservation Alliance’s Literature Summary – Draft – January 24, 2001 – Draft Conservation Status and Needs of the Wolverine (Gulo gulo) .
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