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Elijah Murphy
Elijah Murphy

Wild Yellowstone(2020)



In the 1960s, NPS wildlife management policy changed to allow populations to manage themselves. Many suggested at the time that for such regulation to succeed, the wolf had to be a part of the picture.




Wild Yellowstone(2020)



In late 1994 and early 1995, and again in 1996, FWS and Canadian wildlife biologists captured wolves in Canada and relocated and released them in both Yellowstone and central Idaho. In mid-January 1995, 14 wolves were temporarily penned in Yellowstone; the first eight wolves on January 12, and the second six on January 19, 1995. Wolves from one social group were together in each acclimation pen. On January 23, 1996, 11 more wolves were brought to Yellowstone for the second year of wolf restoration. Four days later they were joined by another six wolves. The wolves ranged from 72 to 130 pounds and from approximately nine months to five years in age. They included wolves known to have fed on bison. Groups included breeding adults and younger wolves one to two years old.


Wolves are now managed by the appropriate state, tribal, or federal agencies; management in national parks and national wildlife refuges continues to be guided by existing authorizing and management legislation and regulations.


  • Kingdom: Animalia

  • Phylum: Chordata

  • Class: Mammalia

  • Order: Carnivora

  • Family: Canidae (dog family)

  • Genus: Canis (Latin word meaning "dog")

  • Species: lupus (Greek word meaning "wolf")

  • Common names: gray wolf, timber wolf

  • Names in other languages: Lobo (Spanish), Loup (French), Lupo (Italian), Varg (Swedish), Ulv (Norwegian)

  • Physical CharacteristicsAverage body mass: males 110 pounds (50 kg); females 90 pounds (41 kg)

  • Heaviest known wolf in Yellowstone: 148 pounds (wolf 760M of Yellowstone Delta pack with no food in stomach)

  • Average height at shoulder: males 81 cm, females 77 cm

  • Average length: 181 cm

  • Eyes: blue at birth, light yellow to gold to brown as an adult

  • Number of bones: 319 males, 318 females