A wolverine was detected in the southern portion of the Goat Rocks Wilderness at 6300 ft. This individual appears similar to one detected by our efforts on the north side of Mount Adams, a distance of 30 km (19 mi), and may or may not be the same individual. Photographs from both detections show similar chest markings: a set of three vertical small white patches of either side of the neck and a white splotch under the chin. This recent detection did not yield any genetic samples as the wolverine did approach eat the bait. At this time, we are not able to confirm or refute the possibility of more than one individual in the south Cascade Range. We will return to the area this winter to attempt to collect genetic samples if conditions permit. The Goat Rocks Wilderness comprises steep slopes and wide, avalanche basins and thus may not permit winter research.
Station 27, the Yakama station, was originally set on June.18.2009 at 6400 ft. After one month running time, the only visitors were American marten and coyote. We moved the station up to 6700 ft in the hopes of moving out of coyote range and into fox range. A Cascade red fox did visit the new station within four days of the move. However it never returned and the only visitor since has been more marten. However a coyote, perhaps the same one, came recently. It will be interesting to see when and if the fox returns.
Our first results from the Goat Rocks Wilderness are in. We had a Cascade red fox visit the new Cispus Pass station at the headwaters of the Klickitat and Cispus Rivers.
A mountain lion makes a brief visit to the Devil's Butte station on the south side of Mount Adams. This is the first wild cat detected by the project.
The Mt Adams Wolverine Study develops into a long-term comprehensive forest carnivore monitoring program. Goals are to document the presence of elusive carnivores and monitor trends in local carnivore populations. The Cascades Carnivore Project is created as a partnership between wildlife conservation experts and citizens to monitor forest carnivore populations using non-invasive remote detection methods. The project is a research collaboration between the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Yakama Nation, the Columbia Gorge Ecology Center, the Gifford Pinchot Task Force, and local citizens. Crews work in cooperation with WDFW to fill forest carnivore conservation needs.
A lighting strike creates a 7,729 acre fire on Mount Adams, stranding climbers and racers on the south side of the mountain during the Watershed Relay: a race by foot, bicycle, and watercraft from the summit of Mount Adams to Hood River.
The project loses a camera to the fire but gains an incredible photo of the blaze.
Though we are unsure whether it is the same individual as one that visited this station in late November 2008, this new visitor is a cross phase of red fox.
A Cascade Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes cascadensis) is photographed at 6600 ft on the south side of Mt Adams near the South Climb route. The project is thus introduced to this unique montane subspecies of red fox and begins a study to determine the genetic affinities of this rare native fox.
A graduate student at Oregon State Univeristy, Katie Moriarty detects a wolverine in the Tahoe National Forest during her study of American martens. The wolverine detection marks the first confirmed report in California in over 80 years. Researchers are unsure whether the individual indeed walked from the Rocky Mountains but follow-up genetic work informs them that it indeed derives from an Idaho population.
Wildlife biologist Jocelyn Akins sets the first survey station for what will become the Cascades Carnivore Project. The Mount Adams Wolverine Study is initiated to document the presence of wolverines around Mount Adams, following the remote detection of a wolverine on the Yakama Reservation. The Yakama Nation's Forest Carnivore Project detected the wolverine at one of their remote camera stations on the northeast side of Mount Adams on the Reservation’s wild lands in 2006. Follow-up efforts have not yielded further evidence of the wolverine.
After establishing a partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, research begins in earnest on snowshoe and ski by the Mount Adams Wolverine Study.