Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wolverines, as in Currently Obsessed With

Ever since we watched Chasing the Phantom on Nature a few weeks ago, I've been more and more obsessed with the gorgeous, fierce wolverine, my new favorite animal, surpassing even Badger and *that* is saying something. Oh, what remarkable creatures!  Look at those big snow-show feet, those enormous claws, that fur!  Members of the mustelid family of carnivores (along with weasels, otters, and beloved darling badgers), they are unusual for their relatively long legs and their habit of traversing insane distances up and over glaciers and mountain peaks, hundreds of miles, patrolling their territories and searching for food.

And their teeth, wow!  These animals eat bones, able to scavenge from whatever's left on the ground.  Bones!  These teeth and the wolverine's ferocity help them to chase grizzlies (grizzlies!) off their prey and defend their own from same.  All of max forty pounds, wolverines stand their ground against much, much larger animals.

In the words of Douglas Chadwick, whose wonderful The Wolverine Way I'm crunching up like a wolverine,

Wolverines don't unnecessarily complicate their lives.  They won't equivocate or trade in partial truths; I call this the wolverine pledge.  Would that it were a policy more widely followed.  More than that, wolverines are the ultimate role models for not taking crap from anybody or anything.
For wolverine researchers, and now me, these fierce little beasts are the ultimate symbol of wildness.And there are only probably 300 of them in the US.  Sadly, even though wolverines are, they say, the land-based equivalent of polar bears when it comes to global warming, the US Fish and Wildlife Service decided earlier this month that they're not quite endangered enough.  Full lame story.  
The Wolverine WaySo beautiful!  How can we not protect them?  If you want to learn more, I am highly recommending Chadwick's book (published by Patagonia, hmmm).  It's so very interesting -- natural history of wolverines and tremendous stories of the researchers who are working so hard to learn about Gulo gulo before it's too late.   I'm thinking hard about a year-end contribution to The Wolverine Foundation.  This research needs to be supported, the public educated and this bold creature protected.  Get on board!
The Wolverine Way - by Douglas H. Chadwick from Wild Collective on Vimeo.


Jeremy R. Roberts said...

Please do donate the Wolverine Foundation. They work only in solid science. Good people, to boot. Here is a film we at Conservation Media produced for them. Please embed it everywhere you can!


Ariane said...

Thanks, Jeremy! I did wind up making a late-night contribution to Wolverine Foundation -- was just so inspired by the work and had some Christmas $$ burning a hole in my pocket... I'll add your link to the post. Thanks so much for sending!