Oops, Jackson County’s wolf M1084 is actually a girl, Colorado Parks and Wildlife says
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has renamed a wolf in Jackson County after discovering that what the agency originally thought was a dispersed male is actually a female — and she’s been traveling with a companion.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced on Thursday that the agency has recently determined wolf M1084, a collared wolf known to have dispersed from Wyoming’s Snake River pack, should be referred to as F1084.
CPW says the black female wolf has been staying in Jackson County since 2019, and was originally captured and collared in January 2017. The discovery the wolf is female comes from CPW’s work with counterparts at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Grand Teton National Park.
According to CPW, the agency had previously captured and collared a gray wolf that was spotted traveling with F1084 in Jackson County. Wolf M2101, as it’s known, was also fitted with a GPS collar that allowed CPW staff to better chart the pair’s travel patterns and other behaviors.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
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According to CPW, staff discussed the observed behavior with the partner agencies, who then pulled genetic information on the collared wolf. The analysis determined that F1084 had been mislabeled.
“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,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a news release.
“We know wolves are resilient, hardy animals and in this case two of them 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,” the governor continued.
“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,” added 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.”
According to CPW, the agency will continue to monitor collar data, trail cameras and sighting reports to watch for any additional changes in behavior or denning, which could indicate there are more wolves in the area.
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