Wolverine Watching in Finland
The Wolverine is an arctic loner, a solitary and rare mammal which is active all year around.
Wolverine is a stocky and muscular animal, considered carnivorous but known on occasion to eat plant material like berries. It has glossy brown hair with stripes of dull yellow along the sides. Its fur is long and dense and does not retain much water, making it very resistant to frost which is common in the wolverine’s cold habitat. The adult wolverine is about the size of a medium dog, with a length usually ranging from 65-87 cm a tail of 17-26 cm and weight of 10-30 kg. Males are as much as 30 percent larger than the females. In appearance the wolverine resembles a small bear with a long tail. It has been known to give off a very strong, extremely unpleasant odor, giving rise to the nicknames “skunk bear” and “nasty cat.” Wolverines, as other mustelids, possess a special upper molar in the back of the mouth that is rotated 90 degrees, or sideways. This special characteristic allows wolverines to tear off meat from prey or carrion that has been frozen solid and also to crush bones, which enables the wolverine to extract marrow.
Kontiovaara site is located about 30 km distant from Lieksa centre in Northern Karelia region in easternmost Finland.
Kontiovaara offers excellent opportunities to photograph Wolverines from comfortable log cabins and professional hides in natural environment. Also Brown Bear is regular and even some Wolves and Lynx have been seen and photographed here.
This might be the only baiting site in Finland where the “big 4” – Bears, Wolverines, Wolves and Lynxes have been seen. The latter two are very rare, but a Lynx that visited in May 2009 stayed around for almost 2 weeks. Wolf has been seen and photographed several times, usually in June and July.