In recent memory, fewer initiatives regarding wildlife in Colorado have been quite as controversial as the approved measure to reintroduce wolves to the state. However, now lawmakers are considering an entirely different species to reintroduce to the state - the wolverine.

Why Would Colorado Reintroduce the Wolverine?

Prior to 1919, wolverines were a thriving, native species to Colorado. However, illegal trapping and poisoning diminished the animal's population and a number of tests conducted between 1979 and 1996 determined that it was unlikely that any wolverines still existed in the state.

Read More: Wolf Attack: First to Be Reported Since Colorado’s Reintroduction |

This past November, it was discovered that so few wolverines were living in the wild that the species was categorized as threatened nationwide.

What Would it Be Like to Reintroduce Wolverines to Colorado?

Unlike wolves, the wolverine is primarily a scavenging animal that lives a solitary life. Not only is it unlikely that you'd ever see more than one wolverine at a time, but the territory for a single wolverine is massive. According to the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife, a wolverine's territory is roughly 20 times the size of that of a coyote or lynx.

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If approved, the initiative would see specimens from places like Alaska, Canada, Sweden, and even Asia transported to the Centennial State for examination and if deemed healthy and not pregnant, would be released in places north of I-70, between I-70 and Highway 50, and in the San Juan Mountains. Specimens found to be pregnant or not healthy enough for release would be cared for at the Frisco Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

The bill outlining the effort, Senate Bill 24-171, has already been approved by the State Senate and multiple Colorado committees.


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