May 4, 2009
Calif. wolverine origin genetically placed
U.S. scientists say they've genetically identified the origins of a California wolverine, providing the first evidence of a link between regional populations.
A wolverine first photographed by a remote-controlled camera in the Tahoe National Forest in February 2008 has been found most closely related to Rocky Mountain populations, according to a team of 10 federal, state and university scientists.
The researchers said determining where the male wolverine originated is important since the animals are a threatened species in the state, and California wolverines are genetically unique from other North American populations.
Researchers said the genetic analysis suggested the California wolverine most resembled a population comprised mostly of wolverines from Idaho, with a 73 percent confidence level.
The study appears in the journal Northwest Science.