Deby Dixon was traveling through Yellowstone National Park recently when she encountered a lone wolf howling on the road. She followed the wolf from a safe distance for a ways before it scurried off.
Dixon believes that the wolf might be part of the Wapiti Lake Pack that was spotted in the area earlier that day.
Listening to that wolf howl is mesmerizing. What an incredible encounter. Thankfully she recorded it for all of us to experience!
“Although wolf packs once roamed from the Arctic tundra to Mexico, loss of habitat and extermination programs led to their demise throughout most of the United States by the early 1900s. In 1973, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) listed the northern Rocky Mountain wolf (Canis lupus) as an endangered species and designated Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) as one of three recovery areas. From 1995 to 1997, 41 wild wolves from Canada and northwest Montana were released in Yellowstone. As expected, wolves from the growing population dispersed to establish territories outside the park, where they are less protected from human-caused mortalities. The park helps ensure the species’ long-term viability in GYE and has provided a place for research on how wolves may affect many aspects of the ecosystem. January 12, 2020, marked the 25th anniversary since wolves returned to Yellowstone.
-An estimated 528 wolves resided in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem as of 2015.
-As of January 2021, there are at least 123 wolves in the park. Nine packs were noted.
-In general, wolf numbers have fluctuated between 83 and 108 wolves since 2009.”