Wolverines are enigmatic creatures. They are the stuff of legend – fearsome, dauntless, and possessed of a fabled toughness. In fact, the legend is tougher than the animal. True, they are mysterious, as wolverines are rare and occur at low densities. Where they do occur, they are elusive, so wolverine research requires time and patience. Most of what we know about North American wolverine ecology has been published only in the last two years, and our knowledge still remains quite limited. What we have learned is that wolverines, rather than being dauntless, avoid areas of landscape development. Fur trapping can drive populations to decline, and many remaining populations are small and isolated. Wolverines occupy the last bastions of nature because they are not very resilient to human activities.
This book summarizes our 6-year search for rare and elusive wolverines in the Alberta Foothills and west-central Rocky Mountains, and highlights a few things we now know about wolverines in Alberta that we did not know when we started. We present never-before-seen images of these secretive and little-known creatures. We emphasize the importance of these remarkably unusual animals, their unique roles in wilderness areas in North America, and the undeniable need to manage landscapes to keep wolverines within them.