Tracking the Aspen Pack
by Mark MacAllister
: November-December 2004
By November, the pack had returned to the Blue River corridor. On November 4, the Aspen Pack came close to two dogs in a chain link fence near a house along the Blue River corridor. The resident fired a gun near the wolves and they ran off without injuring the dogs. And, on November 30, a Blue River resident reported that an uncollared wolf was attacking his dog on the residentís back porch. Two dogs chased off the animal, and none of the dogs were injured.
The resident used a telemetry receiver, provided by project personnel, to see if any of the animals were members of the Aspen Pack. At that time, he did not pick up any Aspen Pack signals, which makes it unclear what wolves were involved in the incident. The situation became even more confusing when we consider that (1) researchers located the three collared Aspen wolves over a mile north of this area both before and after the incident, (2) the telemetry receiver was found to have the frequency of AF667 incorrectly programmed, (3) it was possible that pup m871 (the uncollared pup) may have been involved.
Also during November, pup f873 continued to wander away from the rest of the pack, and pup m871 had not been found since he slipped out of his collar in September.
The situation got even more complicated in December. The Aspen Pack crossed into the Blue River corridor at least three more times, though they generally stayed away from people. Nevertheless, Mexican wolf researchers decided that the pack members needed to be captured and sent to a more remote (and safe) location. Attempts to trap the Aspen Pack started on December 9; pup f872 was captured about two weeks later and sent to Ladder Ranch. At that point, researchers had decided to translocate her near a male lone wolf as soon as possible. No other pups were captured, and poor weather led the researchers to remove the traps on December 30. While all of this was going on, pup f873 continued to remain separate from the alpha pair.
: January-November 2005
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
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