The wolverine resembles a small and powerful bear, but it actually belongs to the weasel family. With its sharp teeth, powerful jaws and snowshoe-like feet, the species is fully equipped for life in the boreal and tundra forests of Ontario. But despite its strong build, the wolverine is still vulnerable to several threats, mostly related to human activities.
The largest threats facing the wolverine in northern Ontario are habitat loss and fragmentation. However, individual wolverines also face the threat of incidental trapping, which occurs when a wolverine is caught in a trap intended for other species. Because wolverines reproduce at such low rates, and it is estimated there are only 600 left in Ontario, each loss has a big impact on the overall population.
Earth Rangers and Wildlife Conservation Society Canada are collaborating on a solution. In cooperation with the licensed registered trapper community, we are developing new techniques to prevent the incidental trapping of wolverines. Funds raised for this project allow for various trapping tools and techniques to be tested in the field. Once best practices are established, education and outreach initiatives will be conducted among the broader trapper community.
Special motion-activated cameras are also being set up in locations where wolverines have been reported. This will allow us to learn more about where these secretive animals live. Determining the population distribution of wolverines in Ontario is essential to developing a conservation and protection plan for this species.
In collaboration with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, Earth Rangers has launched a Bring Back the Wild Wolverine Project for our members across Canada. After signing up at EarthRangers.com, children can choose to “Bring Back the Wild” by raising funds towards the protection of wolverines. Funds raised by an Earth Ranger member will help to:
- Improve the status of the wolverine by protecting the animals from being incidentally trapped
- Alleviate conflict between wolverines and the trapper community
- Inspire and enable trappers to become knowledgeable about the benefits of this important predator, and get involved in the protection of the species
This project is proudly supported by our long-term partner, OPG. Throughout our five years of successful partnership, Earth Rangers and OPG have helped over 60,000 Earth Ranger members raise over $470,000 for conservation projects focused on the spotted turtle, American badger, Blanding’s turtle, eastern wolf, and now the wolverine.
If a child in your life would like to help the wolverine, please visit www.earthrangers.com/bbtw to help them start their own Bring Back the Wild campaign.
Together, we can help protect the wolverine!
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