Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), working with counterparts at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) and Grand Teton National Park (GTNP), has recently determined that wolf M1084, a collared wolf known to have dispersed from Wyoming’s Snake River pack and staying in Jackson County since 2019, is actually a female wolf, and should be referred to as F1084. This black colored animal was originally captured and collared by a capture crew hired by GTNP in January 2017.
In February of this year, CPW staff were able to capture and collar a gray wolf spotted traveling with F1084 in Jackson County. Wolf M2101 was fitted with a GPS collar that allowed CPW staff the opportunity to better chart travel patterns and other behaviors of this pair.
“As we continued to monitor the movement patterns of M2101 and F1084, CPW biologists noted a change that was consistent with potential denning behavior,” said Brian Dreher, CPW Terrestrial Section Manager. “While we had conclusive proof that M2101 was a male, the change in behavior was enough to drive a deeper discussion about F1084 with our partners at Wyoming Game and Fish and Grand Teton National Park.”
CPW staff discussed the observed behavior with the partner agencies, who pulled genetic information on the collared wolf. The analysis determined that F1084 had been mislabeled and is in fact a female gray wolf.
“The news of potential denning behavior of wolves in Jackson County is a real credit to Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s on the ground scientists,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We know wolves are resilient, hardy animals and in this case two of them traveled hundreds of miles from their home packs found each other and are now making a home in Colorado. While these wolves have a head start, I look forward to our state moving ahead with a well-planned and inclusive process to restore gray wolves in Colorado, fulfilling the will of the voters.”
“Confirmation that we have a male and female pair of gray wolves and observing what may be denning behavior in the state is an interesting development as we begin our planning and implementation process for reintroducing gray wolves to the state,” said CPW Director Dan Prenzlow. “We have not yet determined if reproduction has occurred. As we begin the discovery process with our Technical Working Group, we can now also observe how a naturally migrating pair is adapting here in Colorado and use that information to help inform plans moving forward.”
CPW staff will continue to monitor collar data, trail cameras and sighting reports to watch for any additional changes in behavior or denning behaviors that may indicate more wolves in the area.
Gray wolves in Colorado remain a state endangered species and killing a wolf in Colorado is a crime punishable with jail time, fines and/or the loss of license privileges. To learn more about wolves in Colorado, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on the CPW website. For more updates on the implementation of Proposition 114 and how to get informed, visit our website at cpw.state.co.us.
Written by Rebecca Ferrell. Rebecca is a Statewide Public Information Officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.