Over the past several months, a taxidermy mount of the only wild wolverine known to have existed in Michigan in the past century has been the focus of a traveling exhibit throughout the state.
The wolverine is currently on display at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, where freelance journalist Elizabeth Philips Shaw, author of “The Lone Wolverine,” will appear for a book discussion and signing on Saturday, Oct. 6, at 6 p.m. at the park’s visitor center.
Shaw will discuss her book and explain how she came to write this wildlife detective story about Jeff Ford, the high school science teacher and deer hunter who spent six years studying and filming the elusive predator in a remote swamp in the state’s Thumb. She will also share the best of Ford’s still images and video recordings of the wolverine until its death in 2010, and discuss the mysteries and controversies that surrounded this unique event in Michigan’s natural history.
Also speaking will be Alex Hasson, a volunteer field researcher on the Glacier National Park Wolverine Research Project, which began in 2002 as part of an ongoing effort to develop a management plan for one of North America’s rarest and most elusive mammals. During his years with the project, Hasson assisted in live-trapping wolverines that were fitted with radio collars or implanted tracking units, then released back into the wild.
Hasson spent much of each winter living alone in the mountainous backcountry, using radio telemetry to track the wolverines’ movements, investigate den sites and record other useful information on the animals’ habits and habitat. Hasson will talk about the behavior of wolverines in the wild, and share images and personal stories of his experience working with the project.
Following the presentation, Shaw will sign copies of “The Lone Wolverine,” available for purchase at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness Visitor Center. The Center is located at 33303 Headquarters Road in Ontonagon. The event is free; however, a Recreation Passport is required to enter the park. For more information about this event, contact park interpreter Bob Wild at 906-885-5206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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