Yellowstone Trail Cameras Capture Rarest Animal In Park For The First Time


Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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Yellowstone National Park cameras captured footage of the park’s rarest animal, a wolverine, according to the Yellowstone National Park’s Facebook post.

“Wolverines (Gulo gulo), mid-sized carnivores in the weasel family that typically occupy high-elevation alpine and forest habitats, exist in low densities in the park and are rarely detected,” according to the National Park’s Facebook post. The video footage captured the wolverine running through a “snow-blanketed, forested area” outside Mammoth Hot Springs, according to the post. (RELATED: Man Blacklisted From Yellowstone After He Tried To Fry Chickens In Hot Spring)

“This technology has since become increasingly valuable for detecting and monitoring a variety of species and aspects of Yellowstone’s ecology,” Yellowstone officials wrote in the post. “This is the first video footage of a wolverine since remote cameras have been deployed in the park.”

There are only seven documented wolverines in Yellowstone and adjoining national forests, according to the National Park Service (NPS). They are about three to four feet long and range from 13 to 31 pounds, according to the NPS. They are “active year-round,” breed from April to October, and den in “deep snow, under log jams, and uprooted trees in avalanche chutes,” according to the NPS.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service withdrew a proposal in August 2014 to categorize wolverines living in the lower 48 states as a threatened species in the Endangered Species Act, the NPS said.