This November, an exclusive regional film tour dives into the world of the fierce yet vulnerable wolverine. Wildsight and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) are hosting the tour with a showing in Creston at Rotacrest Hall on Nov. 18, combining a visually arresting documentary with local stories about these elusive carnivores.
Chasing a Trace follows biologist Mirjam Barrueto into the alpine of the Columbia Mountains as she searches for signs of the wily wolverine. A tenacious scientist and an endurance athlete, Barrueto is the perfect person to track the wide-ranging mammals.
A short presentation by wolverine researcher Doris Hausleitner following the film will highlight research happening in the region directly from biologists involved in Wolverine Watch—a collaborative venture that collects community science to better understand the needs of this strong, solitary wild animal.
“For many people, wolverines are a symbol of wildness,” says Eddie Petryshen, Wildsight’s Conservation co-ordinator. “Scientists are still figuring out why wolverines persist in certain areas and disappear from others.”
This community event will share what it takes to research these notoriously tough animals in B.C.’s mountains and what we stand to gain by doing so. Wolverines can be difficult to study in part due to their extraordinary shyness and wide-ranging behaviour but are also key indicators of how our mountain ecosystems are doing.
“As winter settles in, we are excited to bring images and stories of one of Canada’s mysterious creatures,” says Nadine Raynolds, Y2Y’s Columbia Headwaters program manager. “We hope people will come away inspired to help protect both winter and wolverine.”
Wolverines are known for their strength and appetites. They are snow dependent species and sensitive to climate change. The headwaters of the Columbia River are predicted to be a climate refuge that could be an important stronghold for these wild creatures.
A full schedule of showings across the West and East Kootenays, as well as Revelstoke and Golden, are at wildsight.ca/wolverinefilm. Event sponsors include Columbia Basin Trust, Ambler, and MEC. Chasing a Trace is one of the official selections of the 2019 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.