Habitat characteristics associated with wolverine den sites in Norwegian multiple-use landscapes



Roel May, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, P.O. Box 5685 Sluppen, NO-7485 Trondheim, Norway. Tel: +47 73 80 14 00

Email: roel.may@nina.no


Successful wolverine (Gulo gulo) reproduction, and thereby population viability especially in multiple-use landscapes, is likely to be enhanced by availability of suitable den sites. We investigated which topographic features were selected for reproductive den sites by female wolverines in southern Norway (2000–2006) at three spatial scales (landscape, home-range and site-specific scales). At the site-specific scale, den sites were associated with steep, rugged terrain with bare rock. At the home-range and landscape scales, den sites were placed in rugged terrain at 1100 m a.s.l. and away from infrastructure (private roads and public roads). These features provide snowdrifts into which wolverines can excavate dry, safe cavities. Den sites were also placed away from infrastructure, indicating that den-site distribution, and possibly successful reproduction, may be partly influenced by human activities. Recurrent use of specific topographic features may provide valuable information for guiding geographically differentiated management and monitoring efforts, and augmenting recovery of endangered wolverine populations.