Learn about our soon-to-be new neighbors, wolverines

A wolverine stepping from one boulder to another
Wolverine stepping from one stone to another, courtesy of Hans Veth

Wolverine(aka: Gulo gulo)
Status: Federal Endangered Species, about to be reintroduced to Colorado!
Fun Fact: Wolverines may look like a bear and smell like a skunk, but they are technically weasels!

Historically, wolverines ranged south from Canada and Alaska through the mountainous regions of the West to California, Utah, and Colorado. Today, wolverines inhabit high-elevation areas of the Northern Cascades in Washington, and the northern Rocky Mountains in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. There are fewer than 400 wolverines in the contiguous US. They are vulnerable to climate change and protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Colorado’s wolverine population went extinct due to unregulated trapping and poisoning in the early 1900s. The last wolverine confirmed in Colorado was a lone male who wandered 500 miles from the Tetons in Wyoming to central Colorado in 2009, and then to North Dakota where he was shot. Colorado continues to have prime habitat for wolverines, but female wolverines tend to stay closer to where they were born and are unlikely to make the difficult journey to Colorado.

But recently, Rocky Mountain Wild has been working to reintroduce the species, and earlier this month, the bill to reintroduce wolverines passed the Colorado legislature!


A huge thank you to our partners:

Denver Zoo horizontal logo

Here are some things you can do to learn about our soon-to-be new neighbors:

Join us:

Join us for the online webinar, Learn about our soon-to-be new neighbors, wolverines!

When: Tuesday, May 14, 6:00-7:00 pm
Registration: This is a free event, but it is limited. Register to save your spot.

Join us for a conversation about our soon-to-be new neighbors, wolverines! We’ll be joined by Ph.D. student Rosie Sanchez, Megan Mueller from Rocky Mountain Wild, and Dr. Stefan Ekernas of Denver Zoo to talk about wolverines, why it’s necessary to reintroduce them, and how we can easily co-exist with them here in Colorado!

Our speakers:

Photograph of Rosie in front of foliage

Alma “Rosie” Sanchez (she/her/ella)

Rosie is a wildlife conservation biologist on a mission to champion equity, inclusion, and community empowerment within the realm of wildlife conservation and outdoor pursuits. With a fervent dedication to both personal and professional endeavors, Rosie’s journey has been an inspiring fusion of wildlife preservation, environmental advocacy, and communal involvement.

Her expertise spans a diverse spectrum, encompassing outreach, wildlife rehabilitation, and impactful campaigns such as the momentous reintroduction of wolves in Colorado (Proposition 114) and now, wolverines!

With boundless enthusiasm, Rosie is pursuing the next chapter of her conservation journey, pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her focus? Indigenous Carnivore Ecology—an exploration into the intricate interplay of cultural and social dynamics shaping carnivore reintroduction and survival efforts.

Megan Mueller doing pika research

Megan Mueller (she/her)

Megan grew up in the small 200-person town of Phippsburg, Colorado. You might be under the impression that there isn’t much to do in such a small town, but Phippsburg is surrounded by wild country just waiting to be explored. Megan’s parents took her and her siblings backpacking and backcountry skiing before they could even walk, giving her a lasting love of wildlife and the outdoors. Whenever she gets a chance, she heads off with her husband and two dogs to wander in wild places, ideally where there is a chance of seeing carnivores.

She is particularly fascinated by wolverines, river otters, and other members of the mustelid family. She counts seeing a wolverine and six grizzlies while backpacking on her honeymoon in Alaska’s Denali National Park as one of her favorite experiences. Megan focuses on finding innovative, science-based solutions to the conservation challenges that face wildlife in the region. She enjoys working collaboratively to tackle tough problems and giving people an opportunity to contribute to wildlife research and conservation efforts through RMW’s community science programs.

Photograph of Dr. Stefan Ekernas in front of a tree

Dr. Stefan Ekernas (he/him)

Dr. Stefan Ekernas is Denver Zoo’s Director of Colorado Field Conservation and provides strategic leadership in planning, implementing and evaluating the Zoo’s statewide conservation programs. Stefan has two decades of conservation experience spanning Asia, Africa, and North America, including conserving species such as bison, American pika, argali, bighorn sheep, and boreal toads.



For Adults:

For Kids:

Listen and Watch:

For Adults:

For the Whole Family:

For Kids: