Yellowstone Park denning info

April 29, 2002

The denning season is well underway, and no doubt most of the pups have already been born. Here is what is known about the Yellowstone Park wolf packs. Monitoring has been hampered somewhat by bad weather. The information came from the Park's wolf team.

Druid Peak Pack- The pack has split into 4 groups, which are starting to behave like separate packs. Doug Smith reported at the North American Interagency wolf conference in Boise that there had even been one case of territorial aggression between the Druids in late winter. The "main group" with 42F and 21M appear to have denned as has 106F's group.  Earlier reports that 103F's group had denned appear to be wrong.

Rose Creek II Pack- denned.

Cougar Creek Pack- denned

Leopold Pack- denned

Swan Lake Pack- denned

Nez Perce Pack-denned

Molly's pack- Female localized at den site, but denning not confirmed

Chief Joseph Pack- There was fear they would den in Tom Miner Basin, so a major effort was made to fill-up denning holes with sticks and mothballs. Then it appeared they had denned in Cinnabar Basin to the south (a worse place), but the pack might now be in Daly Creek inside the Park where they have denned most frequently. This is a good location from the standpoint of trouble with people. The pack lost its alpha pair last year and the pack is lightly radio collared, so it is difficult to track.

Yellowstone Delta Pack- Unknown. The pack was not located despite many of its members having radio collars. This might be because they have moved south or southeast of Yellowstone National Park.

Tower Pair- Not denned. These two were attacked by 103Fs group this winter. From the air, the male appeared to be dead. At the Interagency wolf conference last week, Doug Smith showed photos of the wolf lying in the snow (taken from the air). He appeared dead, but just before they were going to pick up his body, he moved. Later he got up and after a while appeared to have healed from the injuries inflicted upon him.

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  copyright 2002 Ralph Maughan  

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