Sheridan Media's Chris Foy brings us this report on the Game and Fish Department's recent wolf capture-and-collar efforts in northeastern Wyoming.
Over the past six weeks, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has been capturing wolves within the Wolf Trophy Game Management Area and fitting them with radio collars. The capture and collar program helps the department monitor the size of the population of the native predators and their distribution across the state.
Large Carnivore Section Supervisor, Mark Bruscino, says the recent capture operations have been successful, and since December, Game and Fish has collared 16 wolves in the Jackson, Meeteetse, and Cody areas. He says that means there is at least one radio-collared wolf in most major packs in Wyoming.
The radio collars help biologists track down wolf packs easily, allowing them to count adult wolves and their pups, and better estimate the number, size and location of wolf packs and breeding pairs.
Information from the radio collars documents how well the wolf population is recovering and Bruscino says it will help ensure the species remains under state management authority in the future.
According to the department, the final population estimate has not been prepared. But officials say they're confident that Wyoming will have a sufficient number of wolves within the Wolf Trophy Game Management Area to fulfill their commitment to maintain a recovered population. A recovered population consists of at least 100 individuals and ten breeding pairs on lands outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Reservation.