By Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project staff
While most of our Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project remote camera sites are active only in the summer and fall, each winter our dedicated volunteers and staff maintain several sites looking for wolverines in remote areas of the Cascades. In 2016 one of them captured amazing new images of a gray wolf!
Wolves typically reside at lower elevations during the winter, but individuals have been known to go on long walkabouts in search of food, mates or new territory. This collared wolf photographed in the Chiwaukum Mountains west of Leavenworth is a member of the Teanaway Pack. This is the third time we've photographed wolves traveling through this area.
We've also photographed a number of wolverines here over the years. Wolverines are one of the few large mammals active in higher elevation areas throughout the winter. This makes the snowy months a great time to lure them in with scent and bait, documenting their presence and identifying individuals through "run pole" camera traps. This data helps state and federal scientists understand the status and range of wolverines in our region, information that can be used to support their recovery!
We deploy these camera sites under the guidance of agency and professional scientists, and all research permits are obtained where required. We typically limit our use of bait during the summer to avoid attracting black bears or other non-target species. In this case, we waited several months before sharing these photos in part to ensure the wolf is no longer in this area.