Wolf Reintroduction to Yellowstone

Restoring an Apex Predator

The wolf was extirpated from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from 1926 until its restoration in 1995-97, when 41 wolves were released in the Lamar Valley. Scientists chose Canadian and western Montana gray wolves that already knew how to hunt large ungulates and survive in Yellowstone's deep, snowy winters. There are now about 100 wolves in 11 packs in the park.

At one time, gray wolves were among the widest-ranging land mammal, found on every continent except for Antarctica and Australia. Wolves are extremely adaptable, thriving in arctic tundra, mountain slopes, and grassy plains. They are able to survive in almost any climate or terrain where sufficient food is available. Basically, wolves can live wherever there is enough prey for them to eat and where humans will tolerate them.

In North America, gray wolves are currently found throughout Alaska and Canada, and in a few areas in the lower 48 United States. Wolf populations exist in the western Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan; the Rocky Mountain states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming; and a few remote areas of Arizona and New Mexico.

Learn More About Wolf Restoration

Learn more about the history of wolves in Yellowstone National Park, gray wolf introduction in the 1990's, and current wolf restoration work:

Yellowstone National Park

Learn about wolves of the world, follow current news, and understand the debates about wolf conservation at:

International Wolf Center

photo credit : Releasing Sawtooth pup in Nez Perce pen; Jim Peaco; February 1997