Fish & Wildlife | Local

Wolverines Remain Elusive In Cascades

OPB | May 6, 2013 5:46 a.m. | Updated: May 6, 2013 8:53 a.m.

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Oregon has at least one wolverine living in the state long term. He’s in the mountains of Northeast Oregon. In the meantime, efforts to find wolverines in the Cascades so far have come up short. 

Renowned wolverine expert Audrey Magoun confirms that a male wolverine showed up half a dozen times in the Wallowa mountains of northeastern Oregon.

Motion-activated wildlife cameras sit in weatherproof cases. This camera placed in the central Cascades snapped photos of martens and gray jays but no wolverines.

Motion-activated wildlife cameras sit in weatherproof cases. This camera placed in the central Cascades snapped photos of martens and gray jays but no wolverines.

Photo by Vince Patton

He triggered two of the remote cameras left out since late last year. The very same animal was spotted in previous years.

But in the Cascades, researchers are still hoping to snap a photo of these elusive carnivores.

On Friday, a team from the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, the US Forest Service and Oregon Wildlife hiked into the Pole Creek area near the Three Sisters.

Tim Hiller, carnivore specialist with ODFW, remains optimistic.

Jamie McFadden-Hiller with Oregon Wildlife checks a remote camera left all winter in hopes of detecting wolverines in the Cascades.

Jamie McFadden-Hiller with Oregon Wildlife checks a remote camera left all winter in hopes of detecting wolverines in the Cascades.

Photo by Vince Patton / OPB

He says, “I think we’ve got a relatively high probability of detecting them if they are here. If they aren’t here, that’s still important information.” 

The team checked one of 20 remote cameras left over the winter to detect wolverines. It had a memory card filled with pictures of martens and gray jays but no wolverines.

This male wolverine nicknamed :Stormy" has reappeared multiple times at two remote cameras during the last two winters in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon.

This male wolverine nicknamed :Stormy" has reappeared multiple times at two remote cameras during the last two winters in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon.

Photo courtesy Audrey Magoun

There are 12 more wilderness cameras left to check.

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