Wolf population figures are in for 2006 for Yellowstone Park. Ten breeding pairs, 136 wolves, and 13 packs were identified after intensive observations.
It is fascinating to compare this year’s figures with the past.
The wolf population in the Park peaked in 2003 with 174 wolves. At the end of 2004 the population was essentially the same, 171 wolves, but after very high wolf pup mortality in 2005, the Park wolf population dropped 30% to 118 wolves, the first real decrease in the history of the wolf recovery program in the Park.
In 2006, there was excellent pup survival. Seven-five pups were born and 60 survived until Jan. 1, 2007. The total wolf population grew by just 18 wolves to 136. About 45% of the Park’s wolf population is pups!
The reason for the slow regrowth of the wolf population is mostly out-migration.