In an effort to bring balance to the ecosystem, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is hoping to reintroduce wolverines into the state. Wolverines were once native to Colorado, but none have been sighted since 1919. CPW estimates that the topography in Colorado could sustain around 100 of these mammals.

Reintroducing wolverines back to Colorado has been a conversation for almost three decades. This reintroduction idea has been on hold while the state first integrates other predators. Lynx were the first to be reintroduced in 1997, and this program proved to be very successful for these big cats. While this reintroduction was high-profile at the time, the current effort to reintroduce wolves might win the prize as the most newsworthy animal story.

Reintroducing wolves to Colorado has been no easy task. Voters in the state had this issue on the 2020 ballot, and the decision to reintroduces wolves narrowly passed. While wolves have yet to be brought to the state (due in part to the difficulty in finding states to contribute wolves to the program), CPW plans on the initial release to occur in December of this year.

It is unlikely that a wolverine reintroduction plan would go to a vote, as CPW is pushing this matter along on their own volition (unlike the wolf plan, which was pushed by lobbyists). At this time, CPW doesn’t have a concrete timeline or plan in place for wolverines to be brought back to the state. For now, wolverines still won’t be seen in Colorado for at least a few years.

To learn more, check out this recent local news coverage on the topic:

Photos and Video Courtesy of Colorado Parks & Wildlife and CBS Colorado