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Wolverine (Endangered Species)

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Wolverine (Endangered Species)

Wolverines were never all that large in Québec.  But in the fifties, they started to decline rapidly … alarmingly so

CarcajouBefore the Europeans arrived, wolverines lived all across Canada.  Today, only a few of them remain in Eastern Canada.  They have completely disappeared from the Gaspé Peninsula and along the shores of the Saint Lawrence River.  Most of them now live north of the 49th parallel.     

Trapping and hunting led to their first decline.  From 1840 to 1925, they were wiped out in over half of our North American territory.  With the encroachment of human civilization, their natural habitat began to deteriorate.   

Wolverines are highly sensitive to anything that upsets their environment.  Extensive logging and all the man-made roads have cut into their habitat and cut them off from an extensive portion of their home range.

The more people have access to their habitat, the more the population of wolverines declines.  People’s playgrounds are now so close to the dens that they’ve been given no choice but to pack up and leave.  And the numbers suffer even more if humans get too close when it’s time for the babies to be born.

CarcajouIn Québec, hunting and trapping wolverines have been banned since 1981.
Once a population begins to decline, however, it is extremely difficult for the species to recover especially if it has a low birth rate.

Breeding in captivity may eventually lead to the recovery of the species.  At present, the wolverine is listed as a threatened species.

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