Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Have gray wolves found a home in Colorado?

From High Country News

Have gray wolves found a home in Colorado?

Officially, wild wolves do not live in Colorado. The nearest established population is in Wyoming, where gray wolves were introduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995. But rumors of wolf sightings abound in Colorado, and in recent years, at least two wolves have died in the state. In 2004, a young radio-collared female wolf from Yellowstone was killed on Interstate 70 near Idaho Springs, about 30 miles west of Denver. In the winter of 2009, another young female collared wolf traveled a 1,000-mile-long route from the Yellowstone region to the Meeker, Colo., area, roughly 20 miles from where Eisenberg and her crew work. That wolf's death, in April, is still under investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and neither state nor federal officials will comment on the matter.
Scientists and managers who work with wolves often remark on the uniquely powerful human responses, both positive and negative, that the animals provoke: "Wolves make people absolutely nutty," says Ed Bangs. "You get all the pro-wolf people saying, 'God, we're finally saved, the ecosystem is in balance,' and you get the other side saying it's proof that Satan has returned to Earth."

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