Yellowstone Wolf Tracked to Colorado
An 18-month-old female wolf, once a member of Yellowstone National Park's Mill Creek Pack, is now in Colorado, having completed an epic journey of 1,000 miles, Colorado officials said Wednesday (Feb. 25).
The global-positioning satellite collar attached to the young wolf indicates her last known position was in Eagle County, 60 miles west of Denver, according to the Denver Post.
She separated from her pack just north of the Yellowstone National Park boundary in September and has now traveled across multiple states, according to federal biologists.
"Young wolves often cover remarkable distances looking for a mate and a new territory," said Tom Remington, director of the Colorado Division of Wildlife. "If this wolf doesn't find a pack, she'll likely keep moving. We've seen at least one Yellowstone wolf in Colorado before, but we have no reason to believe that wolves have established a pack in the state yet."
According to officials, the Mill Creek Pack wolf, known as 314F, has been on an epic journey. Satellite data show that she passed south through Yellowstone National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming southeast of Pinedale, Wyo.
She then traveled through southwestern Wyoming and wandered through southeast Idaho and northeast Utah before crossing into Colorado during the past two weeks. Although she is now just 450 miles from her origin, she has traveled at least 1,000 miles, the DOW said.
The wolf left Yellowstone when the wolf population there experienced a sharp decline.
The DOW stressed that the wolf is listed as an endangered species and, as such, cannot be harassed, pursued, hunted, shot, captured, trapped or killed unless it poses a legitimate threat to human safety. The DOW said that hunters and the general public should exercise "additional caution" to ensure this particular wolf is not mistaken for a coyote.
Officials believe that eventually wolf packs may be established in Colorado.