Except two packs, Yellowstone wolves have dens.
Wandering Sloughs and "Unknowns" are a potential threat

May 24, 2006


Doug Smith, head of the Yellowstone Park wolf team said that pups have been seen in three packs so far--Leopold, a new group that has split from Leopold, and the Hellroaring Pack, which split from the Leopolds about a year ago. Meanwhile, all of other Park packs are denned, with two important exceptions, and confusion about the Yellowstone Delta Pack.

Only one radio collar is left among the collar chewing Delta Pack. This 2 year old Delta female, 492F is traveling back and forth between two of the pack's traditional den sites. This probably means pups, but the status of the pack, which is believed to have split, is unknown. As indicated in a previous article, the Pacific Creek Pack currently denned north of Jackson Hole is thought to have originated as a 2004-5 split from the Delta Pack, and the new Buffalo Pack, in northern Jackson Hole, a more recent split. This is a hypothesis, not something confirmed.

The Slough Creek Pack and new "unknown pack" are wild cards on the northern range. Both lost their pups due to the dramatic events of a month ago at the Slough Creek Pack's den site. Late spring is generally a time of low pack conflict because the packs remain their den sites. The same is true this year, except for these two packs without pups. They are ranging widely. The Unknowns, now at eleven, remain more cohesive than the Sloughs, which are often in small groups.

These pupless packs are potential threat to the denned packs. The Sloughs have several times come near the Druid's new den east of Round Prairie. The cohesiveness of the Unknown Pack makes them a formidable force, one reason why they were able to occupy the Slough's den site.


Return to Ralph Maughan's wolf report
Copyright © 2006 Ralph Maughan
Not to be reprinted, archived, redistributed, etc., without permission.
Ralph Maughan PO Box 8264, Pocatello, ID 83209.
Wolf Recovery Foundation; PO Box 444, Pocatello, ID 83204