Ultrarunners Chase Wolverines in Citizen Conservation Project

A conservation group founded by National Geographic Emerging Explorer Gregg Treinish has recruited ultrarunners to help search for wolverines that have returned to the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah. The wolverines, once thought to have disappeared from the area due to overhunting and trapping, were caught on a wilderness camera trap in 2014, suggesting their historical return. In order to confirm this significant sighting, Treinish sought out and trained 30 ultrarunners, because of their natural skill to trek through rough and remote terrain, to volunteer as citizen scientists in setting out camera traps at 34 stations. The task involves running loops of roughly 25 miles in the wilderness over six weekends from May to September, in which the ultrarunners—some from the local trail community and a few professionals—would change each camera’s memory card and battery, and freshen the bait.

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