The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is continuing its wolf monitoring effort this winter with the capture and collaring of several animals across their range in northwest Wyoming.
The Game and Fish Department is responsible for the management of the state’s wolf population outside Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Reservation.
So far this winter, approximately 43 new collars have been deployed, bringing the total number of marked animals to over 75 within the state’s trophy game management area.
Managers like to have at least 1-2 collared animals in each pack to monitor the changing distribution and derive an accurate count for the population.
The Department has also been deploying additional GPS collars to assist in cooperative research projects with the University of California-Berkeley, the National Elk Refuge, and Grand Teton National Park.
Regular aerial surveys are flown to keep tabs on the collared animals and their associated packs.
Most of the captures are handled in the field away from people by a contracted professional wildlife capture crew. The crew will typically net-gun the animals, collect blood and other biological samples, fit it with a GPS collar or traditional VHF radio collar and release it on-site.
The battery life will allow the GPS collar to record the animals’ travels in detail for approximately 2-3 years; traditional radio collars last 7 years.
In addition, the Department’s Large Carnivore biologists also venture into the field to follow-up on reported sightings, which helps gain accurate counts of wolves, as well as assist with the aerial captures each year.
To learn more about wolves in Wyoming, click here.