Are There Wolverines in Minnesota?
Sadly, no, Minnesota doesn’t have a breeding population of Wolverine. Once upon a time, wolverine was a common sight in Minnesota, especially in the northern regions. But soon due to unregulated hunting, and habitat loss, these creatures like many others were trapped into extinction.
These creatures typically are found in places with rugged landscapes and cold climates like Russia, Canada, and Alaska. So, if one day you do spot a wolverine in Minnesota in the recent future, know that the individual has most probably migrated from Canada into the state and will soon go back.
Where do Wolverines live in Minnesota?
In the past, wolverines lived in Northern Minnesota and even in the great lakes region until they were eradicated in the 1920s. Occasionally, some individual wolverines from Ontario can be spotted in Minnesota but know that these are transients and will soon go back to their homeland.
Wolverines by nature are nocturnal and need large expanses of land especially boreal forests with deep winter and early spring snowpack. Not only do these creatures look like bears, but they also have some characteristics similar to them, including preferring tundra and cold climate.
When Was The Last Minnesota Wolverine Sighting?
Though a fixed time cannot be said, it was in the 1920s that the last few remaining wolverines in Minnesota were spotted. These creatures were extirpated by hunters typically as game and especially for their hydrophobic fur. In fact, even today wolverine fur is one of the most requested and costliest fur in the world.
These creatures require deep snow cover during the denning season for population persistence and so their presence in the Great Lakes was the southernmost part of their range.
Additionally, climate change is also expected to reduce the snowpack in many parts of the U.S. including Minnesota. Altogether these events have led to the fall of Wolverine presence and sighting across the country including Minnesota.
What State has the most Wolverine?
There are only a few states which can compete with the diversity of species found in Alaska. The state is home to many of the endangered species which cannot be found in other parts of the country including wolverine. In fact, Alaska has the highest population and population density of wolverines in the country next only to Russia and Canada in the world.
Wolverines need cold and snowy environments and expansive forests to thrive. It is therefore the state’s climate and the rugged landscapes which have supported the survival of wolverine in all these years. But these factors are under impact by climate change which has the capability to wipe out these species due to warmer climates.
Also Check Our Guide On Wolverine In US
Can You Hunt Wolverine In Minnesota?
No, Hunting of wolverines is not allowed in Minnesota. Animal hunting including those of wolverine is managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The agency lists wolverine as a protected animal under the state’s endangered species law.
Therefore, it is actually illegal to hunt them in the state. Although there are exceptions when permits can be issued for research or management purposes, there are currently no wolverines in the state to be managed or hunted.
Why Are Wolverines So Rare?
Wolverines are one of the most reclusive species in the world. It is quite difficult to spot them in regions even where their population is thriving.
Though in the past, these creatures’ presence was in many of the states, they were soon hunted, trapped, and poisoned to keep them away from livestock.
Additionally, due to ongoing climate change, many of the regions in their historical range lost snow cover and forests which in turn pushed these creatures to move elsewhere.
It is therefore a mix of climate change, human activities, and population drop that has made this creature rarer.
What To Do If You See A Wolverine?
Wolverines are omnivores and their diet consists mostly of meat and a small quantity of plant-based sources too. But they don’t pose a threat to your life and do not feed on human flesh.
Having said that, as with every wild creature, the wolverine too will be aggressive when cornered or threatened. So, it is always best to keep your distance when observing them and not approach it.
Additionally, if you are hiking with a dog, make sure to keep them on a leash and close to you as wolverines are known to attack dogs especially those that come close to them. Although you may never spot a wolverine in Minnesota, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Also Check Our Guide On Wolverine In California
And that was everything you need to know about the Wolverine in Minnesota. I hope this article was informative and your queries were answered.
Thank You For Reading!
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Founder Of This Website
I’m a passionate animal lover and researcher, I’ve created this website so that people can learn about the size and characteristics of different animal species. My goal is to educate and inspire people to appreciate the diversity of our planet’s wildlife.