Wolf pack forms on the Idaho side of the Tetons

Driggs Pack has five wolves


Sometime last summer a wolf from the Teton Pack got together with four other wolves of unknown origin and formed the first know pack on the West Slope of the Tetons -- the side that, while mostly in Wyoming, faces Idaho.

Because of the late formation of the pack, there were, of course no wolf pups. Just the other day the pack chewed off the collar of the wolf from the Teton Pack, so now they are not radio monitored. The pack roams the southern end of the West Slope in the general vicinity of Victor, Idaho. It is expected they will den in a couple weeks.

Wolves have been slow to reinhabit Eastern Idaho, although this border pack makes three, including the two packs in the Island Park area just west of Yellowstone National Park.

Regarding these other two wolf packs, I will quote from the 2005 summary from the just out Idaho wolf report.

Biscuit Basin. The Biscuit Basin pack was founded in 2004 by a dispersing female wolf from Wyoming’s Nez Perce pack. The Biscuit Basin pack bred in the Madison-Firehole area of Yellowstone National Park in 2004, then moved west into Idaho and settled in the Warm River area in 2005. The alpha female, 340F, and a young male, 474M, were radio collared. The radio collar of a third pack member, 476F, was collected from the Fall River in July 2005. Telemetry locations and ground observations indicated this pack ranged from the Fall River north to Black Canyon. Two pups were documented in July and a December aerial observation documented a minimum of 7 individuals. The Biscuit Basin pack was counted as a breeding pair for 2005.

Bishop Mountain. Bishop Mountain was a suspected newly-formed group of wolves that appeared to be derived from the Nez Perce pack of Yellowstone National Park. There were no radio collars in this group, and they did not appear to localize; therefore, reproduction was not verified.

The map below, from the Idaho Fish and Game's wolf report shows the general location of the Biscuit Basin, Bishop Moutain, and Driggs wolf packs. Basically the Biscuit Basin is on the east side of Highway US 26. Bishop Mountain on the west side.

2005 wolf pack map Upper Snake River country

Note that the Bechler Pack's location is misplaced. It should be in the SW corner of YNP with a bit of it lapping to the south and west of the Park.

One further note, the Idaho Dept. of Fish Games 2005 wolf report has recently been posted to the Web. It is very detailed, and has some rare photos of Idaho wolves in the wild (most photos you see are taken of wolves inside Yellowstone Park).

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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