Washington Wolf moves to British Columbia

Feb. 22, 2002, update 2-24-2002

As the news release below indicates, the alpha female of the old Gravelly Pack who was released with her pups in NW Montana and moved across Idaho's Panhandle to Washington, is now in southern British Columbia.

Hope she comes back. While southern B.C. and southern Alberta were once good sources of large animals to the United States, the role has reversed -- American grizzlies and wolves move north to try to repopulate Alberta and B.C. where the resource-extraction happy governments have decimated the wildlife. Dispersion into Alberta, B.C., and oblivion has been a big hindrance to wolf recovery in NW Montana, a major reason why NW Montana never reaches the 10 packs which were (and maybe still are) the wolf recovery target.

Wolf Haven International

Ramblin' Wolf Leaves Washington Behind

Tenino, WA -- The collared female wolf, Y206 from Montana, first located in Washington on February 6 near Metaline Falls, has moved on and is now exploring British Columbia near Castlegar.

"I don't think anyone expected her to remain for an extended period of time" noted Wolf Haven International
communications director, Julie Palmquist. "But hopefully, she enjoyed her stay here in Washington enough to 'spread the word' about our great wolf habitat."

At last official count, there were more than 500 gray wolves roaming in Montana, Yellowstone, and Idaho. Federal officials estimate that within the next two years, the wolves there will have reached recovery goals and be
delisted from Endangered Species Act protections. As that number increases the wolves will likely seek out new territory in neighboring areas, such as Washington.

Wolf Haven International, a Tenino, Washington based nonprofit organization working for wolf conservation, feels
that wolves dispersing outside of the Northern Rockies recovery area should be welcome in Washington state. Wolves once roamed throughout Washington as far west as the Olympic Peninsula and were eradicated by the 1940s. Within the past few decades, occasional wolf sightings have been reported around the Cascades, the Gifford Pinchot, and the Selkirks.

The organization also supports the development of a plan that will provide protections for the wolves while
addressing the needs and concerns of people living and working within the involved communities... Since 1999, Wolf Haven has been a participant in Oregon's Wolf Information Group, which recently undertook the task of doing just that.

"Oregon has had the foresight to create a well informed network of individuals and has now begun developing
suggested protocol and communications guidelines that should prove invaluable as more wolves disperse into the state" said Palmquist. "We can do that here in Washington, too, and Oregon has already laid all of the groundwork."

At this time no formal plans have yet been put in place for actively monitoring or managing wolves dispersing into

Wolf Haven International is a leading wolf conservation organization known for its educational outreach programs and for providing top lifetime care for captive-born wolves. As a founding partner in the popular, Living With Carnivores program, Wolf Haven has been helping communities around the Northwest to understand and learn how to coexist with wolves and other predators.

Wolf Haven International
Contact: Julie Palmquist, Communications Director

2-22-02. Wolf has left Washington, biologists say. Animal not able to find mate in area, traveled to Canada. By Dan Hansen Spokesman Review.

2-24-02. Four of her five 10-month old pups are still in the Yaak River area in extreme NW Montana. One pup is in British Columbia west of Koocanusa Res. (a cross boundary reservoir in the Kootenay River). The yearling male from the pack in also in B.C. near the town of Yahk (note the variation in spelling -- US "Yaak;" Canadian "Yahk.").

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Copyright 2002 Ralph Maughan
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Ralph Maughan PO Box 8264, Pocatello, ID 83209