Image of a Wolverine in a zoo.

Wolverine in a zoo.

Sweden - Wolverine

The Wolverine is part of the mustelid family and can weigh about 20 kgs, with some having been recorded as being 30kgs. The mustelid or weasel family includes types of weasels, the otter and badger.

‘Skunk bear’ is a name that has been used for the wolverine, as it emits a stink to mark territory and act as a message or signal in mating. It also has a small bear like physical appearance. Another name that has been given to the wolverine is ‘the hyena of the northern mountains’. This reflects its original location and its character being affiliated with that of the scavenger hyena.

It is mainly in the forests and mountainous northern regions of Sweden, that the wolverine is known to live. The forests and mountains of northern Sweden are largely rural areas for humans and consequently, it is safer for the wolverine to live unnoticed there. Yet over recent years, this animal has been known to extend its habitat to central Sweden, particularly in the forests.

The wolverine nature is considered to be violent and fierce. They seem to prefer the darker times of day, as they are known to be active the most when it is night time, sunrise and dusk times. As the wolverine in Sweden is a European one, it is smaller in size relative to the American wolverine. They also have a tail that is about 20cm long.

Every year between April and August (warm months), there is mating done by the wolverine. Then several months later in February and March, the mother wolverine will give birth to 1 to 4 cubs.

In Sweden, the wolverine is recognised to be a large secretive predator and when it does hunt;it is mainly reindeer. Reindeer meat is more often their staple diet in winter, while in summer it consists mainly of birds, small rodents and some vegetable foods. Compared to other predators, this one is not as skilled in hunting. However the wolverine is more commonly a scavenger and often eats the prey captured by other animals.

The similarity of a wolverine with a fox is that they capture their prey and then hide most of it. At a later time they return to their hidden food and consume it.

Although this type of Wessel lives in Sweden, it is also found in other cold climate locations such as in other Scandinavian countries, as well as Alaska, northern Canada and Siberia.

The wolverine is an endangered species and has been protected in the country of Sweden since 1969. The fur of the wolverine is still considered desirable by some and leads to people hunting this creature. This animal is often hunted illegally and is often seen by people as horrible and destructive. Usually herders find the wolverine to be a nuisance and a pest, as it often goes and hunts after reindeers in herds.

A number of wolverines have been captured and fitted with radio transmitters in Sweden. This enables scientists to monitor this endangered animal’s location, movements and behaviour.

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