Using multiple fine scale modeling techniques to determine future snow persistence over different climate projections, the authors are able to create a long term prediction for wolverine persistence in the region. They conclude that spring snow cover is likely to decrease and snow-covered areas are likely to shrink over the next century to as little as one-third their current extent, although there are large areas such as the Greater Yellowstone Area that will remain as suitable wolverine habitat. However, with a higher cost to dispersal and fewer areas to disperse to for successful breeding, it is likely that the geographic extent and connectivity of wolverine populations will decline. Managers that are able to plan for this shift in habitat by focusing on conservation of populations in the largest regions with long-term snow persistence and maintaining connectivity between these regions present the best opportunity to ensure population persistence in the area.
McKelvey, K. S., J. P. Copeland, M. K. Schwartz, J. S. Littell, K. B. Aubry, J. R. Squires, S. A. Parks, M. M. Elsner, and G. S. Mauger. 2011. Climate change predicted to shift wolverine distributions, connectivity, and dispersal corridors. Ecological Applications 21(8), 2882-2897.