Yellowstone wolf update early April 1998


(4-2-98)


Here is the latest information on the Yellowstone wolves, courtesy of Deb Guernsey , Yellowstone wolf team. Some information came from Kevin Sanders and others.

The wolf-trapping, and radio-collaring operations have now finished, and every pack now has a radio collar.

Chief Joseph Pack-
It was very difficult to capture Chief Joseph. After many tries, the alpha female, no. 33F was radio collared. The pack now consists of 33F, 34M, and four pups. Today, April 2, the pack was mostly in Buffalo Horn Creek just NW of the Park. For the last several months, the pack has localized to pretty much range over the northern boundary of the Park from Gardiner on east to the extreme NW corner on the west.

Washakie Pack-
Lacking an alpha male and any possibility of pups, the Washakie Pack has been ranging very widely. Today they were in the East Fork of the Wind River, but they have been way down on the Wind River Indian Reservation as far south as Burris and Crowheart. This is at the base of the eastern slope of the Wind River Range. Three members of the pack were captured and collared. The alpha female, no. 26F, was recollared. Her old collar was hanging by a thread. Two of her now, pretty big pups were collared. Two black males, no. 132M and 133M received collars.

Soda Butte Pack-
Consistent with its increasing tendency to travel about, probably to secure prey in prey-scarce area, the Soda Butte Pack was located on a moose kill at the headwaters of the Yellowstone River deep inside the Teton Wilderness area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Thorofare Pups-
As I said in the last report, the pups have survived by getting out of the deep snow core of the Teton and Washakie Wildernesses. They appear to have  migrated over the top of the Absarokas into the Elk Fork of the North Fork of the Shoshone.  Today, however, they were located nearby in Fish Hawk Creek, presumably in its lower reaches.

Crystal Creek Pack-
As it is most commonly located, Crystal Creek Pack was in the Pelican Valley of Yellowstone NP.

Leopold Pack-
As is the usual case the Leopold Pack was on the Blacktail Deer Plateau in the northern part of Yellowstone.

Number 16F.
She was radio located in Cedar Creek a few miles north of the Park in the Montana Absaroka Range. Her one radio-collared pup, no. 111, was located near Gardiner. Number 111 is usually in this area -- Electric Peak, just over the Yellowstone River from town, Monitor Peak, etc..

No. 29M and 48F.
This pair was located today beside the Nez Perce enclosure. A big question is, will they have pups?

Rose Creek Pack.
The Rose Creek pack is pretty much been in its usual territory from the Junction Butte/Little America area (the boulders) downstream to Hellroaring and Cottonwood Creek. Mom, grandmom, great-grandmom, number 9 shows signs of denning.
The pack has had a high rate of elk kill, about 20 elk a month. They have been mostly elk calves -- that is elk that are not yet a year old.

Druid Peak Pack.
The Druids have been mostly in their traditional spot, the Lamar and Soda Butte Creek. Today, however, they were over the top and out of the Park back to Crandall Creek where pack members 31 and 38M were gunned down last fall. The Druids came been killing about three elk a week, mostly healthy adults, many of them bulls.  Being in a deeper snow area, there are not many yearling elk available to them.

Number 41F and 52M.
They are still in the Sunlight Basin area east of the Park.  I have no new information on the killing of no. 39F, the White Wolf, or of the "suspect."


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Copyright 1998 Ralph Maughan

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