Parks and Wildlife recollars wolf in northern Colorado
Colorado Parks and Wildlife recollared a male wolf near North Park on Saturday, Feb. 18, just weeks after the same wolf slipped out of a collar it was outfitted with earlier in the month.
According to a news release, Wolf 2101 was collared on Feb. 2 alongside one of its offspring, but the GPS device came off Wolf 2101 days later.
The recollaring means two gray wolves in the area are once again wearing GPS devices. Three wolves in the North Park pack had collars at one point — two placed by CPW and a third that was on one of the wolves when it migrated into Colorado. But the collars stopped working last year, according to CPW.
The North Park pack came to be when two wolves, including 2101, migrated from Wyoming and had Colorado’s first litter of pups in decades. There were as many as eight wolves in the pack last year, officials at CPW believe, but three of the wolves appear to have been legally killed in Wyoming in the fall.
Since the collars stopped working, CPW hasn’t been able to gather as much information about the pack, so an early February collaring effort put devices on 2101 and one of its suspected male pups, 2301.
“While collars provide valuable information, they only provide a snapshot and are not monitored in real time,” CPW stated in the news release earlier this month. “The primary tools used by wildlife officers are field observations of physical evidence such as wolf prints and scat during field investigations to verify the presence of wolves on the landscape.”
The North Park pack has killed livestock and dogs at a ranch near Walden, generating concern about the presence of wolves as a reintroduction plan is taking shape. The draft plan for reintroduction was released in December. It details how 10 to 15 wolves will be released before the end of the year in an area that includes part of South Routt County.
The pack is the only confirmed group in Colorado, though there has been potential evidence of them across Northwest Colorado. Wolves were blamed in the deaths of cattle in Meeker this fall, but a November investigation found no evidence that wolves were involved.
In December, a South Routt County resident spotted potential wolf tracks, but CPW hasn’t been able to confirm.
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