Real wolverines hit the silver screen

Chasing the Phantom Flyer

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Defenders supporters in the Bozeman, Montana area have an incredible opportunity to join us on Thursday evening for a sneak preview of PBS Nature’s “Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom” (check out the incredible trailer, above). This unique documentary has some of the rarest footage of the one of the least-understood carnivores as it roams the alpine wilds of the Northern Rocky Mountains and Alaska.

On Thursday, Oct. 7, the film will be shown at The Emerson’s Crawford Theater in Bozeman, followed by a panel discussion with top wolverine experts. Director Gianna Savoie will take part along with Defenders’ meso-carnivore specialist Dave Gaillard and others.

If you’re interested in attending the screening, please RSVP here.

The fascinating wolverine field research that is the subject of the film also inspired Montana author Doug Chadwick’s new book, The Wolverine Way, which chronicles his adventures tracking wolverines around Glacier National Park in northern Montana. Chadwick volunteered with the Glacier Wolverine Project, a five-year study to understand the basic eating, mating and other social behaviors of wolverines.

Can’t Make the Event?

For those not in the Bozeman area, or who aren’t available to come to the event tomorrow, keep an eye out for the documentary coming to your local PBS affiliate on
November 14
. And in the meantime, don’t miss NBC’s Jeff Corwin in the video, left, as he examines the impacts that climate change is already having on these snow-dependent critters as part of his series Feeling the Heat.

Climate change is projected to reduce the amount of mountain snowpack and drive wolverines out of their shrinking historic range.

About Wolverines

Wolverines (Gulo gulo) are adapted to survive the harsh conditions from timberline to the summits of 10,000-foot peaks where they hunt and scavenge for food and dig homes in the deep snow for their offspring. Climate change is projected to reduce the amount of mountain snowpack and drive wolverines out of their shrinking historic range. This shift will have unknown consequences that could spell disaster for the long-term future of the species in the American West.

What Defenders is Doing

We’re working hard to safeguard areas where wolverines continue to thrive. For example, Defenders is fighting to protect wolverine denning habitat from disturbance by snowmobiles in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, an area needed by wolverines to traverse the craggy peaks of southwestern Montana.

Defenders also helped develop a petition to protect wolverines under the Endangered Species Act in 2000. Providing ESA protections would marshal important resources for wolverine research and conservation, and help to eliminate threats like Montana’s wolverine trapping season. Today, fewer than 500 wolverines survive across the lower 48 states.