DENVER – Colorado Parks and Wildlife said Tuesday they were in recent days able to collar a 4-year-old male gray wolf spotted in north-central Colorado who had not been previously tracked.
Wolf M2101 had been seen in late January traveling along with wolf M1084 – a male from Wyoming’s Snake River pack that previously entered Colorado in 2019, CPW said. Wolf M1084 had previously been spotted in northern Jackson County, CPW said.
A company that contracts with CPW used a helicopter to track the wolf, net him and tranquilize him so a GPS tracking collar could be placed on him. CPW said that before he could be tranquilized, the wolf escaped from the net and ran north. But he was captured just inside the Wyoming border.
The wolf was collared and crews stayed with him until he was alert and mobile, CPW said.
“The newly collared wolf is a four-year-old male weighing approximately 110 pounds,” said Brian Dreher, terrestrial section manager with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “The wolf was given a health exam during the collaring process and appears to be in good health.”
CPW said it notified Wyoming Game and Fish when the wolf went into Wyoming and appreciated their cooperation.
Dan Prenzlow, the director of CPW, said the tracking collar would allow the agency and biologists to learn more about how wolves in Colorado are traveling and coming into the state and that new GPS collars “will allow us to get a much better understanding of the animal’s movement, range and behaviors.”
The collaring of the wolf comes as CPW works on a plan to reintroduce gray wolves west of the Continental Divide after Colorado voters approved Proposition 114 in November, and as the Biden administration considers the Trump administrations move to delist gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act. Several wildlife advocacy groups have filed lawsuits seeking to restore federal protections for gray wolves.
CPW has identified at least six wolves in Colorado over the past couple of years. Despite the federal delisting, gray wolves remain an endangered species in Colorado and cannot be killed for any reason other than personal self-defense.
CPW urges the public to contact them immediately and fill out a report if they see or hear wolves or find evidence of wolf activity in Colorado.