Several Wolverine Sightings Confirmed in California

John Cunningham |
Likely the same male wolverine spotted several times in California. | Image: CDFW

Since May, three extremely rare sightings of wolverines have occurred in California. The first two happened in Inyo and Mono Counties within the Inyo National Forest. Yosemite National Park in Tuolumne County was the third and most recent spotting.

Commonly found to the North, in Alaska and Canada, there have only been a few wolverines identified in California in the last century. From 2008-2018, one was seen in the Tahoe National Forest near Truckee. Before that, way back in the 1920s was the last known sighting. Due to being so uncommon, wolverines are listed as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act.

The largest member of the weasel family, wolverines are easily identifiable by their body proportion and size, often resembling a bear. The CDFW and the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service will work together to collect scat, hair, and saliva samples to help track and study this current wolverine.

As a native resident of the Wolverine State (Michigan, who would have thought?), this is downright awesome to see! Keep your eyes peeled when hiking and biking this spring. The CDFW asks the public to submit any sightings or observations online at their Wildlife Incident Reporting System. 

Wolverines are the largest members of the weasel family. | Image: U.S. National Park Services

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