Wolverine den has kits

Naches-area den is first in decades in the region

A wolverine den near Naches has a breeding pair with two kits.

Credit: Cascade Carnivore Project
A wolverine den near Naches has a breeding pair with two kits.

— A Cascades Carnivore Project’s field crew spent three days backpacking in the William O Douglas Wilderness to document the area’s first wolverine den in more than 50 years.

Wildlife technicians, Scott Shively and Kayla Dreher, and conservation director, Jocelyn Akins visited the first reproductive wolverine den documented in the state’s southern Cascade Mountains (south of Interstate 90) in over 50 years and the third den in the state.

They retrieved photographs and video from cameras set at the two den entrances and discovered the wolverine pair, Pepper and an unknown male, have two kits.

In North America, wolverine kits are typically born in mid to late February.

So the kits are likely three or so months old, officials said.

Both the female with her kits, and the male alone, were detected at the den.

The female hunts and scavenges for food such as mountain goat carrion, snowshoe hare, and marmot close to her den, officials said.

The den was first discovered after the researchers examined photographs from a wildlife monitoring station set in March in this wilderness area east of Mount Rainier.

From photographs, they determined Pepper was lactating and raising young nearby.

Pepper was first detected in 2016 near the Norse Peak Wilderness.


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