The Wolverine: An Animal Shrouded in Mystery

Wolverines are one of the most elusive animals in the Boreal forests of Northwestern Ontario. They are also the most voracious. While it is highly unlikely you'll see one if you visit here, if you do, it's best to keep your distance.

While seldom seen, wolverines are found in most regions of the Boreal forest of Northwestern Ontario, and they are mysterious and amazing animals. With large carnivorous teeth, long, sharp claws, and a really bad attitude, wolverines are not an animal you want to mess with. Here are 5 interesting facts about this elusive and voracious predator.

Woverine during the height of summer

1. Wolverines Punch Well Above Their Weight

With a weight ranging between 25 to 45 pounds (about the same as a medium-sized dog) wolverines have no problem chasing much larger predators such as bears, mountain lions and wolves off their kills. The bears, mountain lions and wolves know that tangling with a wolverine's teeth, claws, and vicious demeanour is not worth the trouble—or the pain—so they usually give up their carcass to the intruder.

Wolverine eating

2. Wolverines Are Referred To As "The Glutton"

Because of their viciousness, aggressive attitude and voracious appetite, wolverines have earned their nickname "The Glutton." These animals will eat virtually anything, completely strip a carcass clean and even overeat. Overeating is an adaptation that helps them survive in their wilderness environment and wolverines are never not on the lookout for food, leading to their gluttonous reputation.

Wolveriens have been nicknamed Gluttons

3. Wolverines Can Be Found on Three Continents

Wolverines are not only found in Ontario's Sunset Country, in North America, they range across much of Northern Canada, parts of the USA, in northern Russia and especially Siberia in Asia, and in Northern Europe in countries like Norway, Sweden and Finland. Here's a map showing their range.

Wolveriens range across North Ameria, Europe and Asia

4. Wolverines Eat Anything

There aren't many things a wolverine will refuse to eat. In addition to carrion (they are primarily scavengers), wolverines eat small mammals like rodents, rabbits, birds, bird eggs, insects, fish and even berries and roots. In general, wolverines are opportunists, eating anything they come across and are known for creating "caches" of food to return to in winter when food is scarce. Here is a video showing a wolverine raiding a bird's nest and eating the eggs.

A wolverine will eat almost anything

5. Wolverines Are Solitary Animals

One of the reasons wolverines are seldom seen in the wild is due to their solitary nature. Individual animals establish territories they will vigorously defend against intruders. During mating season, males and females come into contact but only to mate, then the female goes off on her own and raises the young known as kits. Wolverines are not known to form family groups and come into contact with other wolverines only during breeding or when one animal crosses into another's territory.

Wolverines are solitary animals

Additional Resources

Natural Resources Canada's Status Report on Wolverines

Alaska Fish and Wildlife's Wolverines: Behind the Myth

About Gerry Cariou

Gerry is Executive Director of Ontario's Sunset Country Travel Association and is an avid fisherman and nature photographer. Gerry has been writing about Sunset Country's varied travel experiences for over 20 years and lives these experiences year-round in Kenora, Ontario.

Recommended Articles

Looking for somewhere new to fish?

The Morson area of Lake of the Woods is fantastic!

Has not having a passport kept you from vacationing in Canada?

It's easier to get than you may think!

Discover The Winnipeg River

From fur traders to trophy anglers, the beauty hasn't changed.

A Guide to Sunset Country Museums

Learn while you visit!

Going fishing in Ontario?

Your lodging has just the boat you need!

10 Reasons to Avoid Ontario

Haters of wilderness, wildlife, and quiet: best steer clear.

5 Amazing Sights You Can Only See By Boat

From mermaids to boat-in museums, the Northwest corner of Ontario has some of the coolest sights to see on water!

5 Essential Boreal Experiences in Ontario's Sunset Country

Freshwater fishing, forest hiking, and sunset views await in this pristine paradise

5 Obscure Facts About Northwestern Ontario: Were You Aware of These?

Here are 5 facts that most people don't know about Sunset Country.

Outdoor Medicine

Here's why experiencing the natural world is good for you—and your health.

Bringing Your Pet to Canada

What You Need to Know

Heading Across Canada?

Here's what you need to know about Sunset Country (from the giant moose statues to the even bigger waterfalls)

Tips for Spring Walleye Fishing

Find out the best places to find walleyes.

There's more than just fishing in the Red Lake Region

Although the fishing's pretty good too!

Outdoor Adventure in Ontario's Northern Paradise

On the links, on the trails, and on the water–discover why Kenora has it all this fall!

Plan your trip

Book the the trip you never got to take this summer

5 Amazing Things About Spring

Spring is a welcome sight after a long winter in Sunset Country!

Spring Fishing for Northern Pike

Northerns are hungry after the spawn and are ready to bite!

Tips from a Fishing Legend

Big Bass, Walleye, Muskie and So Much More

Going Fishing in Canada?

Get the answers to your questions

What makes Wabigoon such a great lake to fish?

Well for one, it has potential for the next world record muskie!

Search Sunset Country