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DENVER (KDVR) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) spotted a gray wolf in north-central Colorado in January and was able to place a GPS tracking collar on it.
CPW confirmed it to be a wolf when it was spotted with another collared wolf that entered Colorado in 2019 from the Snake River wolf pack in Wyoming.
âThe GPS Collar will allow our biologists and wildlife managers to learn more about the movement patterns of wolves entering the state,â said Dan Prenzlow, director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. âVHF collars are useful for locating an animal, but the more advanced GPS collar will allow us to better understand the animal’s movements, range and behaviors. ”
CPW said they captured the wolf from a helicopter and used a tranquilizer so the collar could be placed.
During the process, the wolf broke away from the net it was in and headed north toward Wyoming, according to CPW.
CPW said the wolf was restrained just inside the Wyoming state border. At that time, he was wearing a collar and staff stayed with him until he was alert and mobile. CPW staff informed Wyoming Game and Fish of the operation and the border crossing.
âWe enjoy the Wyoming Game and Fish,â Prenzlow said. âI understand that this work affects them and that the wildlife does not understand where our dividing lines are. ”
âThe newly collared wolf is a four-year-old male weighing about 110 pounds,â said Brian Dreher, land section manager at Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “The wolf underwent a health check during the collaring process and appears to be in good health.”
In Colorado, gray wolves remain an endangered species and cannot be captured for any reason other than self-defense.
Colorado voters approved a voting measure in November 2020 that directs the CPW Commission to prepare a plan and reintroduce wolves to western Colorado. CPW said its plan is to reintroduce gray wolves to the western part of the state by 2023.
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