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Field Journal: Gray Wolves of Yellowstone


Yellow Mike Thursday, October 24, 1996

Looking ahead
Reported by Mike Phillips

The Wolf Restoration project continues to gather steam. A total of 40 wolves are running free in the greater Yellowstone area and 32 of these live almost exclusively inside the park. Most of these wolves exist in eight groups that should breed next February and whelp (give birth to young) in April 1997. We think we may have 25 or so new pups born then.

Another 12 wolves are still in an acclimation pen and will be released in March or April 1997. By this time next year it is very likely that 75 or more wolves will live in Yellowstone Park and the adjacent National Forests.

We don't want to jinx ourselves with too much optimism. But if the trends of the past two years continue, we think we can complete the restoration effort ahead of schedule and under budget.

Of course, as we all know, the future is always uncertain. Despite the progress of the last two years much work remains to be done. We must continue to monitor the wolves to make sure they survive and thrive. With any luck the howl of the wolf will forever echo through the mountains and valleys of Yellowstone Park.

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