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Yellowstone Wolf: Project Citizen Science

Yellowstone's wolf packs—8 Mile Pack

The 8 Mile pack originated in southwest Montana and was named after a creek in Paradise Valley. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks radio-collared a large black male (SW763M) from this pack near Tom Miner Basin (SW denotes southwest Montana). This pack was considered a boundary pack until 2011 when the alpha female denned within the park boundary, in Sepulcher Hills, for the first time. While establishing itself as a park pack, 8 Mile displaced the Quadrant Mountain pack and had multiple interactions with the Blacktail Deer Plateau pack. The pack’s first documented alpha male, 871M, was radio-collared in February 2013, and led the pack with alpha female 909F (“Red/Brown”), until he was killed by a neighboring pack in October of 2014. In February of 2014, SW763M, 821F, and an uncollared female left the 8 Mile pack to form the Prospect Peak pack. In July 2016, once alpha male 910M, left the pack to form the Cinnabar pack, which resides slightly more west than 8 Mile. More recently, the 8 Mile pack was led by alpha female 909F and an uncollared alpha male. Yet in April 2017, 909F was found dead and pregnant with pups, confirming her status as breeder. She was injured by an ungulate in a hunt and subsequent injuries killed her. There were no surviving pups from the 2017 breeding season; we will know whether or not this is due to canine distemper after capture and serological analysis this winter. This pack often splits into smaller groups, but together, total 17 wolves. 963F, a former breeding female, appears to have left 8 Mile for a Montana pack. But, 2018 still seems to be a successful breeding year for this pack with probably two active dens. In the winter of 2018/2019, 8 Mile had many new male members from the Wapiti Lake pack, including: 1105M, 1106M, 1015M, and a few uncollared wolves. They seemed to have driven off the aging alpha male 962M, who was later harvested legally in Montana north of the park. Around that time, 1005F, 1119F, and 1049F split off of the main 8 Mile group and formed 1005F subgroup. They merged with Crevice Lake pack to form Phantom Lake. The alpha female of the pack is Brindle, a black female who is graying with age. 8 Mile wolves utilized their historical dens in 2019 and produced 11 pups from 2 litters, 8 of which survived to the end of the year for a total of 17 wolves in the pack. 1105M was found dead from infectious disease/bacterial infection outside of the park in early 2020. [Updated 1/2020]

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Pack composition

ID Social status Age class Color Sex Age Mange status Birth year Birth pack Description
1015MAlphaAdultBlackMale5Uninfected2014Mollie's PackDispersed from Mollie's to Wapiti Lake Pack in 2016. Then, left Wapiti Lake in the winter 2018/2019 to become the alpha male of 8 Mile, thereby replacing 962M. VHF Collar, Big, Whiter Cheeks than 1155M.
1155MSubordinateAdultBlackMale5Uninfected2014Mollie's PackTelonics GPS Collar, Smaller White Cheeks than 1015M
1156MSubordinateAdultBlackMale2Uninfected2017Wapiti Lake PackVHF Collar, Dark Black
1230MSubordinatePupBlackMale0Uninfected20198 Mile PackVHF Collar
1231MSubordinatePupGrayMale0Uninfected20198 Mile PackVHF collar
1232MSubordinatePupBlackMale0Uninfected20198 Mile PackTelonics GPS Collar
1233MSubordinatePupBlackMale0Uninfected20198 Mile PackVectronic GPS Collar
Gray Female AdultSubordinateAdultGrayUnknown?Uninfected8 Mile Pack
Gray Male AdultSubordinateUnknownGrayMale?UninfectedWapiti Lake Pack
BrindleAlphaAdultBlackFemale5Uninfected20148 Mile PackThis graying black female is the alpha of the main 8 Mile group. Brindle Black Coloration, Often Mistaken for a Gray
Black YearlingSubordinateYearlingBlackUnknown1Uninfected2018Wapiti Lake PackDark Uncollared Black, White Muzzle
Gray Male YearlingSubordinateYearlingGrayMale1Uninfected2018Wapiti Lake PackLight Coloration
No ID yetSubordinatePupBlackUnknown0Uninfected20198 Mile Pack
No ID yetSubordinatePupBlackUnknown0Uninfected20198 Mile Pack
No ID yetSubordinatePupBlackUnknown0Uninfected20198 Mile Pack
No ID yetSubordinatePupBlackUnknown0Uninfected20198 Mile Pack

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Past pack members

ID Social status Age class Color Sex Age Mange status Birth year Birth pack Death year Description
763MSubordinateUnknownBlackMale11Uninfected2008SW763M (collared by Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks) was a former 8-Mile wolf. Has a GPS collar and a very gray body and face. In early 2017, he joined the Junction Butte pack from Prospect Peak.
821FAlphaUnknownGrayFemale10Uninfected20092017Studded collar. This alpha female was killed by other wolves in April 2017 soon after she had given birth.
871MAlphaUnknownBlackMale10Uninfected20092014Birth year was estimated at 2009 or 2010. Darkest adult black wolf in pack and has a radio-collar. Has gray on undersides.
909FAlphaUnknownGrayFemale10Uninfected20092017Has a red/orange tone to her coat. Looks small when compared to other uncollared gray adults in pack. She was found dead in April 2017, pregnant with pups. This 8 Mile alpha female was injured by an ungulate in a hunt and subsequent injuries killed her.
910MAlphaUnknownBlackMale8Uninfected20118 Mile Pack2018As a young adult this wolf was identifiable by the white tip at the end of his black tail. Although the white tip is gone, he is now identifiable by his radio-collar and white "beard". After spending much of 2014 apart from 8 Mile, he has rejoined the pack as alpha male until 2016, when he left for Cinnabar. He was believed to be alpha male of Cinnabar until he died in late summer 2018.
Dark GraySubordinateUnknownGrayFemale?UninfectedDarkest gray female in pack. Dark black spot on upper tail with a gray tail tip. Very dark saddle. Winter 2014 spending more time away from pack with SW763M and 821F.