Pup counts are coming in from Yellowstone Park, but slowly because of the long cold wet season.

I thought perhaps 2008 might be another pup crash year because the Slough Creek Pack had a number of apparently pregnant females yet has only one surviving pup. Moreover no pups have been seen yet with the Druids.

On the other hand pups have been seen with Oxbow and Agate. The Leopolds might have as many as 24 pups! These pups clearly are from multiple litters because they are of differing sizes. No more than 18 pups have been seen at once, but photographic studies of the Leopold Pack show as many as 24 different pups.

All of the other packs seem to have denned, but pups have not been seen yet due to the long spell of bad weather which will probably rejuvenate the Park after a decade of drought.

There are no new packs, but two possible ones, both Leopold split-offs — the “469 group,” seen most recently in Swan Lake Flats and the “470F group,” which has no radio collars.

Mollies Pack has occupied the former territory of the Hayden Pack and are seen a lot further south in Hayden Valley as well as the Pelican.

The Hayden Pack is near Hebgen Lake, outside the Park. The wolf that was recently shot by Montana FWP near West Yellowstone after numerous close approaches to people and buildings had the coloration of a Hayden Pack wolf (light), but was not with the pack. It might have been an odd lone wolf from who knows where, but suspicion is that it was a dispersed Hadyen. I understand a tissue sample was taken to determine the matter.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

12 Responses to Leopold Pack has 18 – 24 pups!

  1. avatar Nathan says:

    what a big family! will be interesting to see how many survive. Man I cant wait to get back up there.

  2. avatar Sandy says:

    Nathan I don’t know how you live with yourself! You and the Governors of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana should be hiding their heads in shame! Why is everyone so upset about the wolves? They were here before we were and were hunted into extenction. The ranchers are paid for their losses of cattle. Why can’t we all live together as it is supposed to be?
    – – –

    Webmaster says:

    Haven’t you misinterpreted what Nathan wrote? Ralph Maughan

  3. avatar Ginny Clerget says:

    24 pups!!! Wow!!! What a fine tribute to unforgettable wolves #2 and #7.

  4. avatar Devin says:

    That is a very large number of pups. I agree with Nathan that it will be very interesting to see how many pups survive. Nature shows us time and time again that just because they’re born doesn’t mean they live to be adults (just look at what happened to Rosie’s cub in the past week).

    I just cannot wait for all this wet, cold weather to get out of the system so the rest of the packs can show off their young a little more

  5. avatar Jim says:

    what happened to the bear cub?

  6. Has anybody an update about Rosi and her cubs? I saw on Elli Radingers YNP blog here in Germany that Rosi had an argument with a male and probably lost one of her cubs.

  7. As people are “wowed” by 24 wolf pups from what is probably 3 or 4 litters, they should also contemplate the Slough Creek Pack, which had that many pregnant females and ended up with just one surviving pup.

    Multiple litters are no guarantee of a large number of pups, nor of faster population growth than single litters. Anti-wolf observers make much of multiple litters, incorrectly thinking that their occurance guarantees rapid and maybe explosive growth of a wolf population.

  8. avatar Devin says:

    alot of the chat on yellowstone.net is that Rosie’s black cub hasn’t been seen since the skirmish and is believed to have been killed. I was up there Memorial Weekend and got some photographs of the mom and her 2 cubs so this news came as quite the shock indeed

  9. Don´t know where to post: About wolves and bears (after all, that´s why we meet here, isn´t it?) Elli Radinger has a fresh report from YNP online (Follow the very last link at the bottom on the right side) albeit in german language only. A short summary: First Druid pubs sighted and many more expected! Tourists being a nightmare in the (flooded!) Lamar, conflicting with the wolves. Many bears on tour, with a grizzly encounter in Silver Gate described.

  10. Peter and everyone. If you want to seriously discuss a new topic, and there isn’t a thread going on it, you might email me or Brian Ertz and ask that a new thread be created.

    If we are around a computer (I am currently in central Utah and will have no computer access for a few days), we will probably create the thread.

  11. avatar Linda says:

    Any more news on Rosie’s family? I am so sad if this cub had died after observing them a couple of times just before Memorial Day.

  12. avatar sal says:

    AS Ralph said above somewhere, the anti-wolf gang often uses multiple litter data to “prove” that wolves are breeding/killing machines but they also insist that wolves have more than one denning season each year. They claim that each female in a pack breeds each “season” and that actually takes place up to three times a year.

    No joking, they really believe this stuff and get upset when you ask for documentation or some other “proof”.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

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