Wolverine Spotted In California For Only 2nd Time In 100 Years

June 2, 2023

In a rare and thrilling event, a wolverine, a creature seldom seen in California, has been spotted in the state, sparking excitement among wildlife experts and nature enthusiasts.

wolverine california
Credit: California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has confirmed that multiple sightings of what is believed to be the same wolverine occurred in May in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains.

"Two sightings were in the Inyo National Forest in Inyo and Mono counties. A third sighting occurred in Yosemite National Park in Tuolumne Countym" CDFW said in a release.

Images and video of the animal, taken in May by separate individuals in different locations, were sent to CDFW for analysis.

Scientists identified the animal as a wolverine by its size, body proportion, coloration and movement patterns.

"Wolverines can travel great distances, making it likely that the recent sightings are all of the same animal," said CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist Daniel Gammons. "Because only two wolverines have been confirmed in California during the last 100 years, these latest detections are exciting."

Scientists documented a single wolverine in California in February 2008 in the Truckee region of the Tahoe National Forest. Prior to that, the last confirmed wolverine sightings in California were in the 1920s.

Wolverines are known for their reclusive nature and are typically found in northern regions, such as Alaska and Canada. Their presence in California is extremely unusual and has piqued the interest of researchers and conservationists.

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