This mating is no game

  • Wolf footprints drawing

    Diane Sylvain
 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story, The wolves are back, big time.

Federal biologists are playing matchmaker. When six more gray wolves were trundled into Yellowstone Jan. 20, one male was introduced to a prospective new mate, and biologists hoped the two wouldn't fight. They didn't.

Although the wolves postured, displaying bravado typical of the animals meeting for the first time, they appeared to be getting along famously.

Biologists had first planned to add the new 120-pound male to the pen only with a fenced buffer zone between it and the female that arrived last week. But they later decided the two might hit it off better if they could check each other out right away.

"There is some risk here," said Wayne Brewster, the park biologist leading the effort to return wolves to the national park.

"But sooner or later, they're going to have to figure each other out, and they might do that more easily if we don't interfere."

Both animals, the leading male and female from two different wolf packs roaming western Alberta, will have plenty of time to get to know each other. The pair, along with the female's pup, will stay in a one-acre pen in Yellowstone's Lamar Valley for some six to eight weeks.

With the six new wolves that arrived in Yellowstone, a total of 14 wolves are prowling custom-designed, chain-link pens, itching for freedom.

If biologists see signs that the wolves have mated, they may let them go earlier. Then the pair can scout for den sites and wander among the herds of elk and bison crowding Yellowstone's northern range.

Rather than chasing the animals from their pens when it's time for them to go, park biologists will simply leave the gates open so the animals can depart at their leisure.

Park staff will stop hauling road-killed elk and deer carcasses to the pens at that point, Brewster said, although they may leave some carcasses in the area as the wolves adjust to their radio-collared liberty.

NewTowncarShare News Classifieds
  • Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professor of Native Americans and the News Media The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is...
  • AWF seeks an energetic Marketing and Communications Director. Please see the full job description at https://azwildlife.org/jobs
  • The Southwest Communications Director will be responsible for working with field staff in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico to develop and execute detailed communication plans...
  • An intentional community designed for aging in place. Green built with Pumice-crete construction (R32), bamboo flooring, pine doors, T&G ceiling with fans, and maintenance free...
  • (CFROG) is a Ventura County, CA based watch-dog and advocacy non-profit organization. cfrog.org
  • Take your journalism skills to the next level and deepen your understanding of environmental issues by applying for the 2019-2020 Ted Scripps Fellowships in Environmental...
  • WINTER WILDLANDS ALLIANCE POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Winter Wildlands Alliance seeks an experienced and highly motivated individual to lead and manage the organization as Executive...
  • The San Juan Mountains Association is seeking a visionary leader to spearhead its public lands stewardship program in southwest Colorado. For a detailed job description...
  • The Cascade Forest Conservancy seeks a passionate ED to lead our forest protection, conservation, education, and advocacy programs.
  • Mountain Pursuit is a new, bold, innovative, western states, hunting advocacy nonprofit headquartered in Jackson, Wyoming. We need a courageous, hard working, passionate Executive Director...
  • The Draper Natural History Museum (DNHM) at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center of the West in Cody, WY, invites applications for the Willis McDonald, IV...
  • Couple seeks quiet, private, off-grid acreage in area with no/low cell phone service and no/low snowfall. Conservation/bordering public lands a plus. CA, OR, WA, ID,...
  • 20mi N of Steamboat Springs, majestic views, aspen forest, year-round access, yurt, septic, solar electric, seasonal ponds, no covenants, bordering National Forest. Ag status. $449K....
  • Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring for two positions: Communications & Development Manager/Director (remote work possible) and a Deputy Director...
  • Former northern Sierra winery, with 2208 sq.ft. commercial building, big lot, room to expand.
  • The dZi Foundation is seeking a FT Communications Associate with a passion for Nepal to join our team in Ridgway, Colorado. Visit dzi.org/careers.
  • Available now for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojaidigital.net.
  • Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • 1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...
  • Suitable for planting hay, hemp, fruit. Excellent water rights. 1800 square foot farmhouse, outbuildings, worker housing.