Friday, May 06, 2016

First verified North Dakota wolverine since 1870 may have come from Montana

The 30-pound adult male wolverine was shot and killed near Alexander, North Dakota, a town located about 33 miles east of Sidney, Montana, and about 100 miles north west of Dickinson, North Dakota. A ranch hand, Jared Hatter, posted photos to Facebook in late April of the wolverine, saying it was harassing livestock when he shot it. Hatter did not respond to an interview request. North Dakota lists wolverines, the largest member of the weasel family, as furbearers with a closed season. But an overriding state law allows ranchers to kill furbearers considered a direct threat to livestock, said state furbearer biologist Stephanie Tucker. “(Hatter) came out to a calving pasture and the cows had surrounded the wolverine and he felt it was a threat,” she said. North Dakota has no breeding population of wolverines, which in the lower 48 typically occupy remote mountainous regions of the Northern Rockies and Cascades. Because wolverines are known to travel long distances and with populations in Montana and Canada, North Dakota maintains the furbearer status and closed season, Tucker said. Tucker speculated that the wolverine may have come from Montana, and noted a March report from a Hingham-area rancher of a wolverine traveling across a stubble field...more

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