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Wolverine (Gulo gulo)



  • The largest land-dwelling member of the weasel family, the wolverine reaches 125 centimetres (4 feet) in length and may weigh up to 16 kilograms (36 pounds).
  • Inhabits the boreal and Rocky Mountain natural regions.
Natural History


  • This animal compensates for its reduced agility with cunning.
  • The bulk of its diet consists of mice, squirrels, grouse and marmots and may include larger animals.
  • If it kills a deer or caribou, the wolverine will stay close to the kill until all edible parts are consumed.
Reproduction and Growth

Breeding Behaviour

  • Mating occurs in summer. Like bears, wolverines have delayed implantation. The fertilized egg stays suspended until the winter, when it implants to the uterine wall if the female is in good condition.
  • Two or three young are born in February or March under the shelter of rocks or deadfall in a snow den.
Conservation and Management


The wolverine is classified as May Be at Risk in the current General Status of Alberta Wild Species report. See:

Also see the Status of the wolverine in Alberta report at:

In a subsequent detailed status assessment, Alberta's Endangered Species Conservation Committee identified the wolverine as a Data Deficient in 2001. See information on the Endangered Species Conservation Committee and Species of Special Concern at:


  • Little is known about the population trends of this sparsely distributed and secretive animal.
  • Numbers may be declining in Alberta as a result of human disturbance and habitat fragmentation.

Wolverine name game

"Glutton," "skunk bear" and carcajou (evil one) are names given to this solitary, seldom seen animal.


Page Information

Updated: Jan 8, 2014