That wolverine which made a rare appearance near Portland last month may have made his way to Central Oregon. But emphasis on the word “may.”
There were reports last week of a wolverine sighting near Sisters last week, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed to Central Oregon Daily News Thursday. A video was taken of the wolverine on Highway 20 east of Santiam Pass.
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ODFW biologists also found wolverine tracks in the snow in that area. You can see that photo at the bottom of the story.
But is it the same one as in Portland on March 20? ODFW said there were additional sightings in subsequent days in Damascus, Oregon City and Colton.
“Based on timing, locations of the verified sightings and the trajectory of travel, it is possible that these sightings are of the same individual wolverine though it cannot be confirmed,” said Beth Quillian, ODFW North Coast, North & South Willamette Watersheds Communications Coordinator. “Long-distance dispersal or “exploratory” movements are not irregular for a wolverine during this time of year and they can travel well over 30 miles in a day. Based on the location, this wolverine is likely dispersing to a new area where it can survive and hopefully reproduce.
Quillian says wolverines need high‐elevation habitat — alpine areas with dense snowpack. But she says young wolverines often disperse long distances to establish new territory.
ODFW previously said wolverines can travel 30 miles a day.
Wildlife officials say wolverines are rare in Oregon. The initial sighting along the Columbia River last month was the first confirmed report of a wolverine outside of the Wallowa Mountains in over 30 years. The last documented wolverine in the Central Cascades was killed in 1969 by a trapper near Broken Top.
Wolverine is listed as a state threatened species in Oregon and no hunting or trapping of wolverine is allowed, ODFW said.