A gray wolf in Colorado that was originally identified as male is now thought to be female and possibly mated with another wolf.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife reported in a press release that the wolf was collared by wildlife personnel in 2017 as part of Wyoming’s Snake River Pack and has been seen on its own in Colorado’s Jackson County since 2019.
In February, CPW staff captured and collared a male wolf spotted traveling with the original wolf. That led biologists to re-examine the genetic information for the first wolf and determine that it was female.
“As we continued to monitor (the wolves’) movement patterns, CPW biologists noted a change that was consistent with potential denning behavior,” said Brian Dreher, CPW terrestrial section manager.
“Confirmation that we have a male and female pair of gray wolves and observing what may be denning behavior in the state is an interesting development as we begin our planning and implementation process for reintroducing gray wolves to the state,” said CPW Director Dan Prenzlow.
“We have not yet determined if reproduction has occurred. As we begin the discovery process with our Technical Working Group, we can now also observe how a naturally migrating pair is adapting here in Colorado and use that information to help inform plans moving forward.”
CPW staff will continue to monitor collar data, trail cameras and sighting reports to watch for any additional changes in behavior or denning behaviors that may indicate more wolves in the area.
Gray wolves in Colorado remain a state endangered species and killing a wolf in Colorado is a crime punishable with jail time, fines and/or the loss of license privileges.
To learn more about wolves in Colorado, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on the CPW website, cpw.state.co.us.