Managing lands for Western wildlife

A wolverine scanning the landscape in the Rocky Mountains

Wolverines will devour just about anything they run across, from berries and seeds to bird eggs, ground squirrels, marmots, beavers, porcupines … even other wolverines.

Their stamina and keen sense of smell enables them to track down their favorite meal: carrion. Wolverines feed heavily on the carcasses of deer, moose and elk throughout their range, but any dead animal will do. Foxes, lynx, wolves and bears are all on the menu. 

These tenacious predators cover great distances in their never-ending search for food. Big males can travel more than 20 miles per day across some of the roughest terrain in the world. 

Wolverines live solitary and secretive lives, slipping unseen through the vast wildernesses and working landscapes of the mountainous West. The southern portion of their range extends into Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, and individual wolverines have recently been documented as far south as the Sierra Nevada of California and Southern Rockies of Colorado.


Like most other Western wildlife species, wolverines need room to roam. Their long-term survival depends not on any one conservation project at any one place, but rather on landscape-scale conservation strategies implemented across vast expanses of public and private lands. 

NFWF supports conservation efforts throughout the wolverine’s range in the continental United States. The Foundation plays an important role in this landscape through its proven ability to match private funding with federal resources, a unique landscape perspective that is not limited by land ownership or state boundaries, and the ability to catalyze collaboration among partners.

Investments made by NFWF in this region have helped grantees and willing landowners protect and enhance vital habitats through conservation easements, invasive plant management and improved irrigation. Other projects supported by NFWF have improved or removed fencing so that big-game species can complete yearly migrations. Many grants have helped willing landowners better manage their properties in ways that benefit both their business interests and the wildlife that live on or move through their properties, including hungry wolverines.

“The Northern Rockies and Northern Great Plains are home to some of the nation’s most awe-inspiring landscapes and iconic wildlife species,” said Matt Hogan, Mountain-Prairie regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which serves as one of NFWF’s major funding partners in this region. “Partnerships between the public and private sectors are key to driving conservation at the scale needed to achieve real-world, measurable results in these regions.”


Contributing partners

Bureau of Land Management logo
USFWS logo
usda nrcs logo
U.S. Forest Service logo