Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists believe photograph depicts wolverine in California

11.03.2008
U.S. Forest Service scientists believe an Oregon State University graduate student working on a cooperative project with the agency’s Pacific Southwest Research station on the Tahoe National Forest has photographed a wolverine, an animal whose presence has not been confirmed in California since the 1920s.

Katie Moriarty, a wildlife biology student, was conducting research on another carnivore called the American marten when a remote-controlled camera she set photographed the animal on February 28, 2008. Forest Service scientists who are experts at detecting rare carnivores believe the photographed animal is a wolverine.

The North American wolverine is the largest member of the weasel family. Adult males weigh 26 to 40 pounds, while females are 17 to 26 pounds. It resembles a small bear, with a bushy tail and broad head. Its diet includes carrion, small animals, birds, insects and berries.

U.S. populations are found largely in the Northern Cascades in Washington, and Northern Rockies in Montana and Idaho. The nearest known resident population is about 900 miles north of the Tahoe National Forest in Northern Washington.

Attempts have been made for decades to photograph wolverines in California, according to Bill Zielinski, a Forest Service scientist with the Pacific Southwest Research Station and an expert at detecting wolverines, marten and fisher. He said periodic sightings have occurred, but never scientifically confirmed using detection methods that produce verifiable evidence.

Scientists will now conduct further detection analysis on the Tahoe National Forest using remote-controlled cameras and barbed wire snares that snag hair. They may also use dogs trained to find wolverine scat. Scientists have found dogs to be three and a half times more successful at detecting rare carnivores than remote-controlled cameras in forested areas like the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Zielinski said hair and scat samples would contain DNA that can be analyzed to determine where the animal originated.

“We have good genetic templates from populations that have been studied elsewhere that can be used to understand the origin of this animal,” he said. “But, first we need a DNA sample.”

Wolverines have large home ranges that vary greatly depending upon gender, age and food availability. In order to avoid interference with ongoing studies, Forest Service officials are not releasing the exact location where the wolverine was photographed.

The agency’s regional forester for California has listed the wolverine as a sensitive species, and the 2004 Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment directs the Forest Service to conduct an analysis to determine if activities within 5 miles of where a wolverine was detected will affect the species.

“This is an exciting research discovery, both for its scientific value, and as a demonstration of our success in forest management.” said Tahoe National Forest Supervisor Tom Quinn. “For now, we on the Tahoe National Forest have more questions than answers. We have initiated discussions with researchers about where this sighting occurred and how this could affect management of the National Forest. We are also consulting with wolverine experts and forest managers where wolverine populations occur, and gathering current literature and studies. As we learn more, we will assess which projects and activities, if any, might be affected.”

Roland Giller | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fs.fed.us

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>