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Wolves in The Rocky Mountains

Wolves had been removed from the northern Rocky Mountains region since the 1930s.

•In 1986, naturally recolonizing wolves, emigrating from Canada were denning in the northern Rockies.

•In the early 1990s, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funded studies in the southern Rockies, including Colorado, that revealed there is habitat and prey capable of supporting 1,000 wolves or more in the region.

•In 1995, wolves were reintroduced into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and central Idaho.

•Utah and Colorado are forming Wolf Working Groups, respectively, to develop state management plans for dispersing wolves.

•By mid-summer 2002, there were roughly 563 adult and yearling wolves and possibly another 200 pups in about 33-40 reproducing packs and include:

◦218 adults and yearlings in the Yellowstone Ecosystem with at least 75 pups born Spring 2002 to 15 packs.

◦84 adults and yearlings in northwest Montana with roughly 50 pups born Spring 2002 to 10 packs.

◦261 adults and yearlings in central Idaho with roughly 80 pups born Spring 2002 to 15 packs.

•The recovery goal for wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains is at least 30 breeding pairs to be distributed throughout Montana, Idaho and Wyoming for three consecutive years. The annual "official" count toward this goal is determined on December 31. This year, the recovery goal for wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains will have been achieved for the third straight year meaning Gray Wolves in this region could be proposed to be removed from the federal Endangered Species List in 2003.

Source: Timber Wolf Alliance News / October 2002