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1 January 2015 Wolverine (Gulo gulo) Food Habits in Greater Yellowstone
Robert M. Inman, Mark L. Packila
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Abstract

Knowledge of fundamental biological characteristics, such as food habits, is essential for conserving wildlife, especially as species distributions shift in response to climate change. We captured wolverines (Gulo gulo) in Greater Yellowstone, one of the southernmost points of the species distribution, where we identified wolverine food items in the field (n  =  91) and collected wolverine scats (n  =  96) while snow tracking, visiting den and rendezvous sites, and examining concentrated locations from very high frequency (VHF) telemetry and global positioning system (GPS) collars. Similar to other areas of their distribution, wolverines in Greater Yellowstone appeared to focus on scavenging ungulates during winter (χ2  =  20.1, df  =  1, P < 0.0001) and preying upon rodents, neonatal ungulates, and other small prey during summer (χ 2  =  2.94, df  =  1, P  =  0.08). However, our results showed a focus on food species not found across much of the wolverine's circumboreal range, e.g., elk (Cervus elaphus) and yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota Flaviventris). Factors other than prey species composition result in the limit to wolverine distribution and changing distributions of prey species as climate change occurs may not be of great concern for wolverine conservation.

2014, American Midland Naturalist
Robert M. Inman and Mark L. Packila "Wolverine (Gulo gulo) Food Habits in Greater Yellowstone," The American Midland Naturalist 173(1), 156-161, (1 January 2015). https://doi.org/10.1674/0003-0031-173.1.156
Received: 21 February 2014; Accepted: 1 September 2014; Published: 1 January 2015
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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