WOLVERINE

This is a taiga animal species. The wolverine is of medium size, clumsy in appearance but very strong, mobile and agile animal. The fur is long and coarse. The body length is 70–105 cm, the weight is 10–19 kilos. The wolverine moves by jumps, kind of sideward.

The paws are very hairy during winter. The footprints are egg-shaped and as big as a grown adult’s palm with easy-to-see trails of claws. The animal is good in climbing trees and rocks; sometimes it descends with its head downwards but it never jumps from one tree to another. It walks well on loose and thick snow. The animal is very mobile – it can walk from 8 to 45 km during one winter day and is capable to travel up to 70 km without rest. The range of an individual wolverine can reach 1000 square kilometers.

The animal hunts mostly at nights but is also active in daytime. It is good in quarrying its prey and often ambushes it. The wolverine attacks hoofed animals (musk deer, roe deer) and hunts red deer and elk when there is a snow-crust. It also eats taiga gallinaceous birds and carrion. In summertime the wolverine readily feeds on berries (fen-berry, bill-berry, cowberry, raspberry, cranberry, crowberry) and mouse-like rodents. It often eats animals caught in traps. The animal eats maximum one kilo of meat at a time; if there is more food it lays in a stock by hiding the meat under snow, on the trees or under water.

The animal populates most of the Krasnoyarsk region except for Severnaya Zemlya islands, steppes and forest-steppes. It is not very large in number at any region. The maximum population is in northern taiga and forest-tundra. The animal prefers open woods rich in lakes and swamps, particularly if there is the wild reindeer there. During winter it migrates 200-300 kilometers southward. There are reports of the wolverine reaching north tundra regions up to the Cape Chelyuskin that is up to the Arctic Ocean.

The wolverine makes its lair under tree roots, in the snow, in the split of a rock. There is often a long snow path leading to the lair. The cubs are born in late winter or early spring (March-April). There are usually 2-3 cubs in an offspring. The change of coat takes place in spring and in autumn.