Hes baaack! Wolverine spotted again near Truckee | SierraSun.com

Hes baaack! Wolverine spotted again near Truckee

Photo courtesy of Sierra Pacific IndustriesA photo of a wolverine captured by a remote camera north of Truckee. DNA results indicate the animal is the same photographed at Sagehen field station, and is the only confirmed wolverine in California since the 1920s.Watch a short video clip of the wolverine below.

TRUCKEE The wolverine first spotted north of Truckee last winter has turned up again on logging company land.The wolverine, a relative to weasels and skunks, was first spotted on remote cameras by graduate student Katie Moriarty in the Sagehen Field Station north of Truckee last February. Now, a year later, remote cameras spotted the predatory mammal only 15 miles away on Sierra Pacific Industries land as recently as last week.This is a remarkable discovery, said Richard Callas, senior environmental scientists with the California Department of Fish and Game. Prior to this there wasnt one in California since the 1920s.Using a bristle brush near the chicken-bated cameras, hair was collected for a DNA sample, confirming the wolverine spotted on camera in December is the same as the one from earlier last year, said Mark Pawlicki, spokesman for Sierra Pacific Industries.We hoped it was another individual, perhaps a female so we would have a pair, Callas said. But the fact it was the same one is very interesting. It managed to survive at least a year here.Just how the wolverine got to California its DNA belongs to a group from the Rocky Mountains, not the last known of its kind in California is still a mystery.The minimum distance the wolverine would have had to walk was about 600 miles from the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho not impossible for the long-ranging, solitary predator.The last photo was just last week, Pawlicki said. Our biologist say he has a tremendous prey base because of the varying age of the timber.Pawlicki said the cameras and other research equipment are a part of ongoing carnivore research on Sierra Pacific Industries property, that they use to inform land management decisions and share with public agencies.The land on which the wolverine was spotted was logged as recently as last summer, Pawlicki said.We have 250 species inhabiting our land, not counting migratory birds, Pawlicki said.The latest discovery wont likely alter Sierra Pacific Industries land management in the area, Pawlicki said, as the wolverine already seems to find the land a suitable habitat.

What should our community name the rare wolverine that keeps reappearing? Wally The Wolverine Hugh Jackman Elmer Fudd (it hunts rabbits) Stephen Colbert Who cares? This is the worst poll everVote online at

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.