Irreplaceable: Wildlife in a Warming World

Irreplaceable Wildlife in A Warming World
Graphic of irreplacable species, emperor penguin.
We are connected to each other, to our environment. From faraway places to our own backyard. But climate change is now changing the Earth as we know it, and animals and plants from the Arctic to the Everglades are feeling the consequences.
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Deep snowpack means many things to a wolverine mother looking for a den to raise her kits. Warmth. Safety. Security. Wolverines den in snow tunnels up to 175 feet long, under snow that must remain thick until the spring thaw.
Photo Credit:
Dorothy Keeler / ILCP (Part of Irreplaceable Wildlife Photo Exhibit)
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Scientific Name: 
Gulo gulo
IUCN Red List: 
Endangered Species Act List: 
No data

The largest land-dwelling member of the weasel family, Mustelidae, the wolverine has a reputation for fierceness that betrays its short, stocky size. Shaped more like a bear than other long, slender mustelids, the wolverine is remarkably strong and can sometimes take down much larger prey, such as elk and caribou. In fact, wolverines have been known to even try to steal food from top predators such as bears despite the risks involved.

Climate Change Impacts

Wolverines den in snow tunnels up to 175 feet long, and the snow must remain thick and sturdy to support the den until the spring thaw. This becomes an issue for the wolverine as climate change prematurely melts the snow it depends on. In fact, mothers will abandon their dens if rising temperatures melt them too early, even if the vulnerable, young kits aren’t old enough to leave.

Irreplaceable in Your Neighborhood

The Earthjustice traveling photo exhibit, Irreplaceable: Wildlife in a Warming World, is available to bring education, scholarship and research to your community. For more information on booking the exhibit, including fees, exhibit specifications, requirements and descriptions, please contact Nadine de Coteau at 1-800-584-6460.