Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Yellowstone 19 Years after wolf Re-introduction

By Kathie Lynch: Wolf Watching not as easy as it used to be in Yellowstone-Copyright © Kathie Lynch 2014
Looking for wolves in Yellowstone’s Northern Range has its ups and downs these days. Watchers may get lucky and see the Junction Butte pack of nine or even the Eight Mile pack of 18. But, failing that, opportunities can be few and far between. The only other possibilities include the two Lamar Canyons, two in 755M’s Group, possibly three Blacktails, and the seven Canyons—if they happen to visit the Mammoth area.
On my recent week-long visit in early January 2014, I saw only 17 wolves total, including three wolf-less days, three days with an hour or less each day of the two Lamar Canyons (in a snowstorm every time), and one “just like the good old days” day of watching all nine Junction Buttes and then 755M and his mate, 889F.
It is always a treat to see everybody’s favorite, the silvery-black former Lamar Canyon alpha, 755M. He is now on his third new mate since losing “The ’06 Female” (832F) to a Wyoming hunter’s bullet over a year ago. His latest partner, 889F, was formerly with the Junction Butte pack, although she probably originally came from the Mollie’s pack.
Seven fifty-five had pursued her last spring, but lost out then to 890M, who dispersed from Junction Butte with 889F. The two dark blacks spent the summer together and were sometimes seen up the Tower Road in the Antelope Creek area.
However, in October, 890M returned to the Junction Butte pack and 889F started appearing with 755M. The new duo is now called “755’s Group,” and we hope that they will stay together though the breeding season and produce pups.