Wolves Home / Rescuing the Red Wolf
Field Journal: Gray Wolves of Yellowstone


Yellow Mike Monday, November 18, 1996

A 1996 pup is caught
Reported by Michael Morse

My day started with an early telemetry flight over the 551,000-acre recovery area. The flight lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes. I found all of the collared wolves plus an added bonus. I observed one of the adult female wolves that lives in the central portion of the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) with an uncollared adult mate. He looked big and healthy. We knew the female had denned in May, but did not know who her mate was. We'll try and capture him and place a radio-collar on him as soon as we're through trapping pups.

Art Beyer and Albrey White (a volunteer wolf caretaker) checked our trap line in the north farm fields of the Alligator River NWR. We found a yearling pack member (born in May 1995) caught in the trap. Since his radio-collar was only a year old and had four more years of battery life, Art didn't replace it. He measured and weighed the red wolf (he weighed 63 pounds), took a blood sample to test for heartworm, and administered booster vaccinations before releasing him. Although most of the wild red wolves do get heartworm, they don't seem bothered by it like domestic dogs. It's good we captured the yearling because he will probably disperse (move from) from his natal (birth) home range within the next few months. On average, red wolves leave their birth range at around 18 months.

Jennifer and Jonathan checked the other trap line and found they had captured our first 1996 pup! The six-month-old pup was a healthy female that weighed 43 pounds. In another year she will probably weigh about 55 pounds. We captured this wolf at a location where hunters had left the remains of a white-tail deer. To become a successful trapper, you need to notice the areas where the wolves spend their time. By setting traps in these areas, we increase the chance that a wolf will be captured.

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