One Transplanted Wolf in Colorado Has Died and Others Have Stopped Emitting GPS Signals

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) shared an update with the public about 10 gray wolves. These wolves were caught in Oregon and then released in Colorado’s Western Slope last winter. According to the information, two of the wolves are not sending signals from the GPS collars they were wearing when they were released in December. Someone else has passed away, probably due to natural reasons.

The press release included a statement from the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) about the dead wolf. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found a dead gray wolf in Larimer County, CO on April 18, 2024,” the statement says. “The Service is investigating the cause of death for the carcass of a species that is protected under the Endangered Species Act. They have sent the carcass for a necropsy.”

The USFWS cannot confirm the cause of the wolf’s death until the necropsy is finished. However, early evidence indicates that it was not caused by humans. The agency confirmed that the dead wolf was one of the ten that were released by Colorado Parks and Wildlife in December 2023.

After the USFWS confirmed the dead wolf, CPW Director Jeff Davis told Colorado’s ranchers that he will not allow the killing of a female wolf that killed four cows in Grand County. “According to Davis, it is likely that she was in a den when the collar’s connection was lost. This matches the expected time for wolf reproduction,” as reported by the Colorado Sun.

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Davis made a statement in reply to a letter from the ranchers. The ranchers had sent the letter to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and some CPW commissioners. In the letter, the ranchers demanded that the agency kill four transplanted wolves. They believe these wolves are responsible for killing six cows in two counties over the past month. The ranchers who want something to be done live in Grand County, Larimer County, and Jackson County, Colorado.

According to CPW’s latest wolf map, the wolves moved towards the east in April. They spread out more into Larimer County and north of Estes Park. “Yesterday’s press release states that reintroduced wolves have been seen moving in watersheds to the east of the Continental Divide and onto the Front Range.”

Colorado has the world’s largest elk herds, along with newly transplanted wolves. Many hunters are concerned about how the growing wolf population will affect the number of elk in the state. CPW will keep informing the public about wolf movements, but they will no longer send monthly wolf maps via email.

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