2020 Photo Contest, Nature, Stories, 3rd Prize

Wolverine, Arctic Snow Machine

Photographer

Peter Mather

10 April, 2018

A wolverine feasts on a scavenged caribou carcass in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, USA. The caribou had probably been killed by wolves.

Wolverines are elusive, solitary animals that inhabit remote tundra and snow forests in the northern latitudes of Europe, Asia and North America. They can travel up to 25 kilometers a day in search of food. Tenacious predators, they prey on smaller animals such as rabbits and rodents, but may try for bulkier quarry such as caribou if the prey appears injured. They also feed opportunistically on larger corpses and have been known to dig into burrows and eat hibernating animals. Large snowshoe-like paws and hydrophobic fur coats equip them well for life in the snow: the Iñupiat people of northern Alaska particularly value the fur for lining parka rims, but the practice is declining following discouragement from conservationists. Although the fur trade is decreasing, current challenges to wolverines include the possible diminishing of spring snow cover due to climate change, exacerbated by their vast territory requirements and low reproductive rate.

About the photographer

Peter Mather

Peter Mather is a fellow in the International League of Conservation Photographers, represented by National Geographic Image Collection, and an ambassador for Panasonic Cameras. ...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/640
ISO
800
Camera
Nikon D5200

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