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Wolverines are coming to Colorado. How soon and where?

Wolverines are coming to Colorado but the questions are when and where?
Wolverines are coming to Colorado but the questions are when and where? 02:24

Wolverines are officially coming back to Colorado. Call it a pet project, but CBS News Colorado has made it a point to make sure our viewers understand exactly what it means now that wolverines are headed back home to Colorado after being gone for almost a century. 

CBS News Colorado has explored what having wolverines back in the Centennial State would look like and why there was a bi-partisan push from lawmakers, compared to the incredibly contentious wolf reintroduction. CBS News Colorado has explained the history of the animal in our state and why Colorado is a great spot to grow the threatened species population. 

Now that the wolverine is officially on its way to Colorado, CBS News Colorado wanted to know when, how many, and where they will go. The short answer for a lot of this from Colorado Parks and Wildlife is that while CPW has the authority to introduce the species, it needs to draft the plan to do so. That's a ton of steps, which will take years. 

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"Things like working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the development of the 10J Rule, as well as collaboration with other states and provinces to locate potential source populations of Wolverines," Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Travis Duncan explained. 

Biologists will also have to decide which territory will become the best habitat for the high alpine scavengers. While they do eat small rodents like pikas, the weasels are categorized as scavengers, cleaning dead carcasses in the frozen tundra. Because of that, the assumption is that this will be a high country introduction, as the wolverines like to have snowpack year-round. 

While the reintroduction language does include a stipulation that allows for reimbursement if livestock is killed, there have only been two recorded instances of that happening in wolverine history. Wildlife experts expect the grumpy recluses will likely stay to themselves and be difficult for humans to even spot, let alone notice a negative impact of having them back in the mountains. 

CPW said it does have a focus on making sure the areas where they are bringing wolverines will have all the information they could ever need before this happens, years down the line. 

"We know the importance of stakeholder engagement, of engaging the public on all wildlife and wildlife management decisions," Duncan said. "We definitely are going to do that with wolverines, just as we did in the stakeholder engagement process with wolves."

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