Wolverines and declining snowpack: Response to comments

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The critiques by DeVink et al. (2010) and McKelvey et al. (2010) are flawed for several reasons. We show here that, contrary to what DeVink et al. claim, the influence of annual pelt price on wolverine harvest returns is essentially negligible. DeVink et al. also suggest that our results show the influence of snowpack on trapper success, rather than on actual wolverine population dynamics. This is unlikely, since most of the snowpack terms in our models are at 1- or 2-year time lags, whereas the impact of snow conditions on trapper success can only manifest in the current year. Both DeVink et al. and McKelvey et al. claim that wolverine populations across Canada are actually increasing, but provide no quantitative data to support this claim. Both sets of authors present alternative explanations for the declines in harvest returns, but none of those explanations are mutually exclusive with our own, and none can explain the significance of time-lagged snowpack on annual harvest returns. McKelvey et al.'s claim that our results represent a spurious correlation, as well as other points that they raise, suggests either a superficial understanding or deliberate misrepresentation of our methods and can simply reflect their underlying philosophical biases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-269
Number of pages3
JournalPopulation Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Climate change
  • Global warming
  • Gulo gulo
  • Harvest
  • Population dynamics
  • Time-series analysis


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