The Wolverine Way. By Douglas H. Chadwick. Viking, 2011. 384 pages.

Wildlife biologist Douglas Chadwick sums up wolverines in one word: Badass. A less than scientifically rigorous description, perhaps — but how else to describe a 30-pound weasel that wrestles food from grizzly bears and scales 12,000-foot peaks for a morning stroll?

Chadwick assisted researchers in live trapping and radio tracking wolverines in Glacier National Park, in a project designed to discover more about this mysterious, legendary animal. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many wolverine tales are simply untrue. They’re ferocious, yes, but don’t destroy cabins as commonly portrayed in certain regrettable outdoor magazines. And they are not nearly as solitary as once believed. Due to their incredibly long journeys and propensity for rugged terrain, much of the wolverine’s life history remains a mystery. Chadwick takes savage delight in solving this mystery in unforgiving country, but he also laments the wolverine’s future.

As badass as the wolverine may be, it can’t fight receding glaciers, roads and ill-conceived trapping seasons. Do we have room to share parts of North America with wide-ranging giant weasels? In the end, Chadwick’s book spells out relatively simple solutions that can protect wolverines and other wilderness species — if society has the will and foresight. But even if you aren’t looking for a conservation plea, The Wolverine Way is still a great read, full of mountain adventure, scientific revelations and undeniably cool animals.

(Image: Wolverine on rock. Image credit: U.S. National Park Service through Wikimedia Commons.)

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  1. On the lines of books, I am a homegrown advocate of Nature Conservancy in Berkeley, California and I am part of a project to encourage conservancy by fostering the value of our environment in our younger generation. The name of the project is “Pachas Pajamas” and I would appreciate any kind of participation and even criticism to launch this new initiative led by community members and students at UC Berkeley. Our first launch of the concept comes in the form of a children’s book we are marketing to raise awareness for environmental issues. Perhaps not the kind of book referred to in your post, but still a step towards a younger and more savy generation. I will appreciate it if you can visit our website if you get the chance.

    Our URL is :

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