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Field Journal: Gray Wolves of Yellowstone


Yellow Mike Thursday, November 21, 1996

Catch of the day!
Reported by Michael Morse

Art flew this morning to track the wolves. (We have a pilot fly the plane for us while we do the radio-tracking.) Art located all the wolves in under two hours. He also documented a male wolf that was released earlier this year near an adult female who had lost her mate last year to a gunshot injury. The wolves here are protected by the Endangered Species Act and the legal case is still being investigated. We believe the male and female will pair and produce a litter in May 1997. We had hoped that the female wolf would be able to find a mate before the next breeding season. It looks like she did!

I checked the trap line in the Refuge farm fields this morning. More great news — we captured the adult alpha female of the pack! We lost radio contact with her over two years ago because her radio-collar battery quit early. We thought she was still in the pack's home range but we were not sure. She and her mate have lived in the Refuge farm fields since they were released as pups in 1989. The pair has produced four litters of pups between the years of 1993 and 1996. Now that we have her radio-collared again, we'll be able to tell if they breed this spring!

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