To the editor:
I want to thank Roland Hallee for his informative article on wolverines (Things you see in the dark, The Town Line, June 9, 2022 issue, page 7). Thank you also for this opportunity to add to the information contained in Mr. Hallee’s column.
Wolverines appear to be increasing their numbers and range in North America. In addition to the sighting reports noted in Mr. Hallee’s column, five wolverine sightings occurred in Utah in 2021, several of which were believed to have been the same animal. One sighting was of an animal less than twenty miles from Salt Lake City. A wolverine was also trapped and radio-collared in Utah by state biologists in March 2022. From 2004 to 2010, a female wolverine lived on Michigan’s Lower Peninsula until it died of natural causes. In December 2020, the first video footage was made of a wolverine inside Yellowstone Park and up until 2018, a wolverine was known to be living in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.
Just as they wrongly denied the presence of resident lynx in Maine to forestall a federal listing, Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife denies the presence of wolverines in Maine. Of course, the Department has no proof since absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
It is known that both wolves and wolverines can travel a thousand miles or more in search of a mate and a suitable territory, therefore, it is not outside the realm of possibility that a wolverine was seen in Vassalboro. A Canadian study documented twenty-one lynx that crossed the St. Lawrence River, including one that traveled from Newfoundland to Labrador and south across the St. Lawrence to Quebec where it was trapped. If wolves and lynx can do it, so can wolverines.
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