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Yellowstone Wolf: Tracking the Packs

Yellowstone's wolf packs—Bechler Pack

Because of the remoteness of this pack, a lot is unknown about it. The pack was discovered in 2002 from reports of tracks and sightings in the southwest region of the park. Initial observations indicated that the pack had 2 adults and 2 pups when it was discovered. The alpha male (192M) was a distinctively white wolf originally radio-collared as a member of the Rose Creek pack. Before the Bechler pack was discovered, the Bechler region had the lowest density of recorded wolf use in the entire park. Until 2012 this pack spent most of the year within the park boundaries, periodically travelling into Wyoming and Idaho during the winter. In 2006, wolf 543M was fitted with a satellite telemetry collar, allowing biologists to track pack movements from their office in mammoth, but the collar lasted less than a year. In 2009 the alpha male (192M) died at over 12 years old, and left the entire pack without a radio-collar. Data on this pack has subsequently been collected from aerial surveys and reports from park staff. In fall 2012, the pack became designated as a non-park pack indicating that most of their time is spent outside of the park. Then, in 2016, Bechler wolves were sighted! We have a pack count and composition through 2016, but have not seen a wolf pack consistently in Bechler since then. Wolf Project is currently trying to understand the Bechler pack composition using scat analyses and field work. At the end of 2019 remote cameras indicated at least 2 gray adults and 2 gray pups were members of the pack. [Updated 1/2020]

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Pack composition

ID Social status Age class Color Sex Age Mange status Birth year Birth pack Description
Gray Adult MaleSubordinateUnknownGrayMale?Uninfected
Gray Adult FemaleSubordinateUnknownGrayFemale?Uninfected
No ID yetSubordinateYearlingGrayUnknown1Uninfected2019Bechler Pack
No ID yetSubordinateYearlingGrayUnknown1Uninfected2019Bechler Pack
No ID yetSubordinatePupGrayUnknown02020Bechler Pack
No ID yetSubordinatePupGrayUnknown02020Bechler Pack
No ID yetSubordinatePupGrayUnknown02020Bechler Pack


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