Last year the Yellowstone wolf population suffered a big decline due to very high pup mortality in addition to the normal annual attrition of yearling and adult wolves.

Last year they counted 118 wolves in 12 groups in Yellowstone at mid-year.
At year’s end, it was 116 ±2 in 11-13 packs. This was later revised 118 wolves in 16 packs in Yellowstone. Only 19 pups had survived to Dec. 31, 2005.
Back at the end of 2004, it was 171 wolves in 16 groups in Yellowstone.

This year the mid-year Yellowstone count is 143 wolves in 14 groups. This includes 76 pups!

The Yellowstone wolf population is still below that of 2004 and even 2003 (157 wolves at year’s end).

I think these data show how fast a wolf population can grow or sink, with the major factor being pup survival rate more than control killing or death of adult wolves.

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 past President of the Western Watersheds Project.

One Response to Yellowstone wolf population rebounds; still below pop. of 2003 and 2004.

  1. avatar aimee says:

    I am looking for any information on current research on wolves in the wild to compare with for college research credit. Also does anyone know much about the social grooming of wolves in the wild? thanks for any help I might find here.


September 2006


‎"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."

~ Edward Abbey

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