Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Prints point to wolf in Rocky Mountain NP

(That's not the wolf print from RMNP, it's a photo taken by someone at the University of Montana that's used in its environmental studies program. Dang big print, regardless.)

Biologists say rumors of a wolf in Rocky Mountain National Park may be true.
A paw print found Thursday is large enough to be that of a wolf or wolf-dog hybrid.

The only other dogs that would leave a print that size are a "massive malamute or a great Dane," said Dave Augeri, a Denver Zoo biologist.

The track was about 4 inches across and found off a trail heading into open fields.

Park volunteers said they saw a wolf about six weeks ago.

Although wolves are native to Colorado, the predator was wiped out by ranchers, government agents and others about 80 years ago.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife confirmed that a large black animal caught on video by wildlife officers last February in northern Colorado was a wolf.

In 2004, a dead wolf was found along Interstate 70 west of Denver. Its radio collar showed that it was from Yellowstone National Park.

Augeri and his crew have placed 5 cameras in the park in hopes of gathering more evidence.
Here's a piece in the High Country News about what wolves would bring to the ecosystem.

1 comment:

Zen said...

Ahh wolves never left CO. Two years ago a friend of mine - a mountaineer, climber, and expedition leader with extensive knowledge of the outdoors spotted an adult wolf & cub high in the Uncompaghre Wilderness. There have been other sightings by knowledgeable parties in Maroon Bells and reportedly in the Leroux Creek area of Delta County as well.

My personal opinion - the DOW has long suspected as much (hell they might outright know), but they won't publically acknowledge it because if they do you know it will unleash a firestorm of politicking, and calls for new environmental policies.

And it would certainly put a crimp the new oil and gas boom in the state. My guess is they're just gonna let it unfold up north first.