Wolverines, Snow leopards, & Whales – Oh my!

By Beacon Staff

Last night, prolific local author, freelance writer and wildlife biologist Douglas H. Chadwick spoke with Columbia Falls Troop 41 Scouts about his recent adventures as far away as Antarctica and Nepal, and as close as Glacier Park.

Chadwick, who has authored numerous books, National Geographic stories and other pieces, has several projects coming out in the 2008’s National Geographic Magazine. He spoke about two of those stories with the boys of Troop 41 (and numerous others) at Tuesday night’s troop meeting.

His talk of adventures off New Zealand and in the Antarctic area while researching Southern Right Whales include photographs of these huge creatures next to a diver standing on the bottom of near-freezing ocean water, a shot of him patting a whale on the nose, and a short video which included prudent avoidance of the whale’s tail during a “fly by”.

Amazing shots of Nepal, Mongolia and India included native peoples and their community, as well as unpublished shots of the reclusive and rare snow leopard that are sure to be seen in the upcoming Geographic story – including a grizzly bear wandering around in an Indian ravine at 16,000 ft.

Chadwick closed with a detailed question and answer period and slide show about his involvement with the wolverine study taking place in Glacier Park, where he revealed how little we know about these amazing creatures. At one point, he showed a slide that detailed a wolverine’s trek across a Glacier Park valley, up the tallest peak in the park and across the mountain from there, all tracked by radio collar. The wolverine did this entire trek, including scaling the mountain, in about 90 minutes…in February. Even the billy goat hikers in the crowd were impressed with those numbers.

Last week, Mr. Chadwick entertained the Rotary Club of Columbia Falls with stories of his high-octane animal adventures.

For more information about Douglas H. Chadwick, start with Google and the National Geographic magazine website, where you’ll find plenty of photos and stories he’s been involved in.

To learn more about the wolverine study taking place in Glacier Park, see http://www.wolverinefoundation.org/research/glacier.htm.