Effects of human and natural habitat factors on wolverine density and connectivity
In southern Canada, wolverines share their natural habitat with humans. Forestry, for example, alters local ecosystems and leaves behind road networks that give access to people, also including recreationalists. Finally, many valley bottoms contain human infrastructure. This research project examines if wolverine numbers are impacted more by human or natural factors, determines if population connectivity is interrupted by human infrastructure and asks if those patterns are different for reproductive females. Understanding the relationship between wolverines and human land uses will help wildlife managers and stakeholders make informed decisions to maintain sustainable populations of this species at risk, as well as other sensitive species with similar needs. The project partner, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y), is dedicated to balancing the needs of people and wildlife. Y2Y often works with universities to provide science-based conservation recommendations, for example the manageable factors impacting wolverines that this project will determine.