Can Wolverines Climb Trees?[Explained]

Yes, the most ferocious members of the weasel family, wolverines, climb trees easily. Wolverines choose smaller trees with branches to climb. In search of food, resting, and as a self-defense technique, wolverines climb trees. With the kind of chest and paws wolverines have, they can easily climb trees in a flash.

But of course, wolverines don’t live in the trees. If you are wondering about wolverine climbing ability, I will explain why wolverines climb, what type of trees they climb, and some more interesting facts. To explore everything about wolverines’ tree climbing, keep reading this article.

Can Wolverines Climb Trees?

Wolverines climb trees like experts. The climbing ability is genetically transmitted to wolverines. Wolverines have paws like climbers’ crampons.

When wolverines walk, their feet get almost twice their original size. The sharp leg nails are a plus point. With such extensive paws and nails, wolverines walk over ice and climb trees.

Wolverines grip the trees with their paws and nails. However, their body is balanced perfectly to maneuver tree branches and keep a tight hold on the tree. Wolverines use their legs to push themselves higher. You can find climbing videos of wolverines online to see how they climb.

Do Wolverines Live in Trees?

Wolverines are extraordinary climbers and often climb for various purposes. But wolverines do not live in the trees.

In search of food, every male wolverine travels 24-25 square km per day. Male wolverines have their own territory and protect it from other males. Wolverines make houses in the safest place in their territory only when they are giving birth.


Their homes are usually hard to find and call as dens. Wolverines dig their den in foliage to move unnoticed and hunt quietly. They use abandoned shelters for various animals to build their home and live there.

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Infant wolverines, also known as a kit, typically stay with their mother for 2-3 years in the den. Dens in North America are easy to find. These natal dens are snow tunnels almost 60m long.

What Kind of Trees Do Wolverines Climb? Why Do Wolverines Climb Trees?

Wolverines like to climb trees. They prefer to climb evergreen coniferous trees. Spruce, pine, and hemlocks are the most common trees wolverines climb.

Though they cannot climb straight up trees because they grip their claws with tree branches and pull themselves up the tree. To avoid unnecessary risks, wolverines prefer trees with branches.

Top 5 Reasons: Wolverines Climb Trees

It’s an excellent question to ask. According to the researchers and reports on wolverines’ behavior, the reasons are crystal clear.

1. Self-defense

Wolverine’s body structure forced them to be excellent swimmers and tree climbers. They use their strengths to defeat and escape the attacks by big bears or wolves.

2. Hunting and searching

Wolverines have tiny legs, and they are not suitable for running fast. So considering this limitation, they prefer hiding and attacking when their prey is within reach.

Their enormous strength in climbing trees helps them to hide in the trees when it’s obvious. It gives them a better chance of catching birds and their eggs from bird nests.

Another fact is they eat berries and other fruits from the trees no matter how well-known carnivores wolverines are. wolverines will climb the trees in search of food.

3. Territory markings

Wolverines are conscious about their territory, and only a few female wolverines can live there. wolverines mark the trees in their territory by scratching them with their efficient nails.

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4. Recreation

Young wolverines will climb trees to play. Adult male wolverines move 15 miles each day for hunting and eating. wolverines tend to relax in the trees during those periods.

Some were even caught climbing the tree and singing. The best place to experience their climbing tree and singing is Hanging with the Apes at the Oakland Zoo.

5. In search of a den

Sometimes it is possible that wolverines make their den up on the trees. But it is not a regular case. wolverines stay there for tiny periods and trail their prey. Though it’s rare for wolverines to make dens on trees, it is worth mentioning.

How High Can Wolverines Climb?

But as they are traced by GPS, it is difficult to measure their climbing height. But apparently, 15-16 meters is the average height wolverines would climb.


Most studies prove wolverines climb trees for valid reasons but never climb too high.


Do every wolverine climb?

Yes, every wolverine climbs trees whenever they wish if there are trees around. They are experts in climbing trees. But some of the wolverines live in the desert or areas where trees are unavailable. So those will not climb trees as there is none.

Do baby wolverines climb?

Baby wolverines are not experts in climbing trees. Kits start climbing trees at the age of 3-4 months. They mostly stay in the natal dens with their mother.

Do wolverines sleep in trees?

Wolverines in the forests climb trees and can be spotted relaxing in them. But in the snow, wolverines dig tunnels approximately 15-17 meters to sleep at night. They also use those tunnels to keep food for even weeks.

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Due to the wolverine’s nature of living in tougher areas, there are insufficient resources. But climbing trees is part and parcel of wolverines’ habitat. They don’t live on trees, but it is proven that wolverines that live in the forest are masters at mounting trees.

They are also excellent mountain climbers. Their physical structure, enormous thumbs and crawls help them easily maneuver trees. You can search for videos and photos of wolverines climbing trees to satisfy your fantasy.

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