Submitted by editor on 15 September 2020.Get the paper!

  August's cover depicts a wolverine from the study - "Move to nocturnality not a universal trend in carnivore species on disturbed landscapes" by Frey et al. (2020). Read Damien Power's story behind the photo!

"Here is my account of another encounter while I was doing a bird nesting transect, north of Baker Lake, Nunavut: 

I first saw an adult wolverine which bounded off before I could get my camera in operation. Then as I walked over to my Inuk companion I saw a 2nd adult wolverine among some boulders further down slope. As I approached it ducked out of sight. Then, looking behind me I saw two wolverines watching me from within the rock pile. I then knew that I had found a den site, a longtime dream of mine. I spent the next hour and a half watching them from very close range and taking photos and a video clip (I would have loved to spend the whole day but unfortunately had to rendezvous with a helicopter for pickup). At first I thought that one of the pair was an adult but then decided that it was a large but juvenile male and the other, smaller one was his sibling sister. I was amazed at how fearless he was as I was standing within 4-5 feet upwind of him, reeking of sweat, sunscreen and bug dope (I had to back up more than once as he was too close for my lens to focus). He never showed the slightest aggression. His sister was more shy, staying down among the boulders so I only managed to get head shots of her. Nevertheless, while I continued to click away they wrestled a bit and nibbled on the antlers of a cow caribou which was stashed down among the rocks. At one point the male wandered out into the open where I took a short video clip and photo #2988. Neither of the adults reappeared while we were there. Since then I have visited the site on several occasions and although I did not see any wolverines there were signs (scats etc.) that it continues to be revisited by them.
At the time when I had the encounter, I was under the common assumption that males had nothing to do with the rearing of young and that social bonds were of very short duration. I was left wondering if I had in fact seen the adult pair or perhaps just the female twice. However, the timing and distances between sightings of the adults did not support this. Now that I know more of the species (thanks to the research of you and your colleagues) I can put my serendipitous observations into context: Wolverines are more sociable than ever believed and both parents may play a role in rearing the young."


Photo and text by Damian Power