For the first time, experts have observed parents of gray wolves living with at least three cubs, a good sign for the animal’s recovery.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Foundation (CPW) discovered John M2101 and Jane F1084, a pair of gray wolves wearing a tracking collar, living with several young, IFL Science reported on June 11. This is good news after the state decided to bring the Gray Wolf back last year. Gray wolves were once widespread in Colorado, but they have almost disappeared since the 1940s due to overhunting.
Granted, CPW staff made three separate sightings to see wolf nests from a safe distance. Thanks to this, they confirmed that they have at least 3 cubs, possibly more because gray wolves typically give birth to 4-6 cubs at a time. However, they did not take any photos to avoid disturbing them.
Colorado had its first litter of Cubs since the 1940s, said state governor Jared Polis. “We warmly welcome the new wolf family to Colorado. Last year, voters approved a plan to rehabilitate gray wolves by the end of 2023. As a result, these young wolves will have many potential partners when they will grow up and create their own families, ”Polis said.
As the little wolves grow older, they will begin to explore their surroundings and move away from the nest. Biologists and CPW staff will need to work with the population to minimize the risk of human-wolf conflict.
“It’s hard to believe these adult wolves have come the long way and hardships all the way to Colorado, and now have a young one. Our priority is to make sure they have a chance to thrive. So despite the great news, we want to remind everyone that the gray wolf is still endangered in Colorado, ”said Kris Middledorf, local wildlife manager at CPW.