Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Origins Of Wolverine In California Genetically Verified

Date:
April 29, 2009
Source:
US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
Summary:
A wolverine first photographed by a remote-controlled camera on the Tahoe National Forest in February 2008 is most closely related to Rocky Mountain populations, according to scientists.

Wolverine photo taken in the Tahoe National Forest on March 16, 2008 by a remote sensor camera.
Credit: California Department of Fish and Game.

A wolverine first photographed by a remote-controlled camera on the Tahoe National Forest in February 2008 is most closely related to Rocky Mountain populations, according to a team of 10 federal, state and university scientists.

Their findings are published in the latest edition of Northwest Science and focus on genetic analysis of hair collected from the first scientifically verified California wolverine in 86 years. The U.S. Forest Service funded the study, which demonstrated the first evidence of connectivity between wolverine populations living in the Rocky and Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Determining where the male wolverine originated is important because it is a state-threatened species, and California wolverines are genetically unique from other North American populations.

Last year, scientists collected hair and fecal samples from the photographed animal so that its DNA could be examined to help determine whether the wolverine had somehow survived as part of a historic population, escaped or was released from captivity, or dispersed on its own from outside of California.

Scientists at the agency's Wildlife Genetics Laboratory in Missoula, Mont., later found the animal was not part of a historic population by comparing its genetic samples with specimens found in California museums. These scientists previously used the specimens to learn California wolverines are a distinct North American genotype.

Further genetic analysis suggested the California wolverine most resembled a population comprised mostly of wolverines from Idaho, with a 73 percent confidence level. By comparison, the California wolverine had less than a five percent probability of belonging to most of the other North American wolverine populations evaluated.

The scientists also used carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses to support the genetic results in the study, which is titled "Wolverine Confirmation in California after Nearly a Century: Native or Long-Distance Immigrant?"

"We still can't be sure how this animal came to the Tahoe National Forest," said Bill Zielinski, one of the study's authors and a research ecologist at the Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station. "But, this peer-reviewed study shows that other scientists agreed with our interpretation that it likely traveled here from the Rockies."

Zielinski said the photographed animal would have traveled more than 400 miles to reach the national forest if it naturally dispersed from the nearest Rocky Mountain population. He said if the wolverine was accidentally or deliberately transplanted, it would have more likely originated from an area where wolverines are more common and legally trapped, such as Alaska or the Yukon Territory.

Sierra Pacific Industries wildlife biologists also photographed the wolverine this winter using remote-controlled cameras on land it manages in California. Wildlife Genetics Laboratory scientists determined it to be the same wolverine photographed last year.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Katie M. Moriarty, William J. Zielinski, Armand G. Gonzales, Todd E. Dawson, Kristie M. Boatner, Craig A. Wilson, Fredrick V. Schlexer, Kristine L. Pilgrim, Jeffrey P. Copeland, Michael K. Schwartz. Wolverine Confirmation in California after Nearly a Century: Native or Long-Distance Immigrant? Northwest Science, 2009; 83 (2): 154 DOI: 10.3955/046.083.0207

Cite This Page:

US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. "Origins Of Wolverine In California Genetically Verified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090429152428.htm>.
US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. (2009, April 29). Origins Of Wolverine In California Genetically Verified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090429152428.htm
US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. "Origins Of Wolverine In California Genetically Verified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090429152428.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Mother Nature is pulling a trick on the kids of Arviat, Canada. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) tells us, the effects of global warming caused the town to ban trick-or-treating this Halloween. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins