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Colorado learns wolf is female and showing 'potential denning behavior' with male wolf

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Posted at 9:34 AM, May 28, 2021

DENVER — Colorado wildlife officials have identified a collared wolf that's been living in Colorado since 2019 as a female.

The wolf — formerly known as M1084 but now referred to as F1084 — dispersed from the Snake River Pack in Wyoming and has been staying in the Jackson County area of northwestern Colorado for the last two years.

The gender distinction is notable since F1084 is known to travel with M2101, a male, and that the pair have shown movement patterns consistent with "potential denning behavior," according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

CPW had captured and collared M2101 in February, allowing researchers to chart his travel patterns alongside F1084.

After noticing the potential denning behavior of the pair, CPW staffers pulled genetic information on F1084, learning that she had been mislabeled as a male wolf.

CPW doesn't yet know if the two wolves have reproduced but said the new information "was an interesting development."

"As we begin the discovery process with our Technical Working Group, we can now also observe how a naturally migrating pair is adapting here in Colorado and use that information to help inform plans moving forward," CPW director, Dan Prenzlow, said in a news release.

Colorado voters last year passed Proposition 114 to have CPW reintroduce gray wolves into the state by the end of 2023.

CPW has identified at least six wolves in Colorado over the past couple of years. Despite the federal delisting, gray wolves remain an endangered species in Colorado and cannot be killed for any reason other than personal self-defense.

CPW urges the public to contact them immediately and fill out a report if they see or hear wolves or find evidence of wolf activity in Colorado.