HOWL could this be? A recent population survey has confirmed that the population of Gray Wolves in Yellowstone Park is declining. It is estimated that about 80 wolves are calling the park their home. This is less than half of the highest population recorded since the wolves were reintroduced to the Yellowstone region.
There are several reasons for the population change. Survival rate for baby pups is around 7%. Sometimes the predators are prey too. The leading cause for most wolf deaths are other wolves.
Some of this year’s pups may also be in hiding or dens until the winter passes. A more accurate count is coming.
In 2003, as many as 174 wolves were counted in the park. Other mortality issues are connected to Parvo virus, mange, and distemper. Packs of wolves also are moving out of the park and expanding their territory.
The population of coyotes has also declined. Population changes are normal in even healthy wildlife populations.
For more Montana Grant, howl to him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.