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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Monday, April 20, 2015

While large Wolf Packs of 20 or more can be formidable in defending their home territory, bigger is not always better over the long haul as a large prey base is required to feed the multitude of family members.........That is why these "super-sized" packs tend to fade out over time.The well documented Druid Pack of 37 in Yellowstone ruled with large numbers over the decade spanning 2001-2010 and then splintered................Currently, the largest documented pack is the 24 strong Lava Pack located in Wyoming, 30 miles northeast of Jackson............Biologists will keep an eye on them and monitor how their life history as it unfolds

Largest pack has 24 wolves, biologists say

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service The largest wolf pack in the West has been found in Wyoming. It has 24 wolves — 9 more than the next largest pack.
The Lava Mountain Pack has 24 wolves, nine more than any other pack in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington or Oregon.

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) The West’s largest known wolf pack roams in northwest Wyoming, federal wildlife officials say.
The 24 wolves in the Lava Mountain Pack is nine more than any other pack surveyed this year in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington or Oregon, state and federal reports indicate. The predators roam hill country about 30 miles northeast of Jackson.
“That’s a very large pack,” Mike Jimenez, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Northern Rocky Mountain wolf coordinator, told the Jackson Hole News & Guide. “They actually had a double litter a year ago, and that’s uncommon.”
First documented in 2008, the Lava Mountain Pack was already the largest pack in Wyoming a year ago when it had 15 wolves. Then, two litters of pups were born in 2014, Jimenez said.
But the pack’s size likely will not last, he said.
“Big packs don’t stay big for very long,” Jimenez said. “What happens is they kick out dispersers, or they fracture.”
Ken Mills, large carnivore biologist with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, agreed that the pack’s numbers likely would dwindle.
“They don’t tend to be very stable, just because they are so large and they require a lot of resources,” Mills said. “Socially, they don’t tend to be stable.”
After wolves were reintroduced to the West 20 years ago, the largest pack became Yellowstone National Park’s Druid Pack, which is now defunct.
“Just think, in Yellowstone, there’s no public hunting, no livestock control,” Jimenez said. “It’s pretty much running in a natural state.”
The Druids, which peaked at 37 wolves in 2001, declined naturally and broke up by 2010.
The pattern was similar for other Yellowstone packs with more than 20 wolves, Jimenez said. Their numbers grew after reintroduction, then dropped and eventually disappeared, he said.
“The size of the big, big packs, it isn’t inherently better,” Jimenez said. “You get a pack that big, and you can imagine it’s probably formidable and it’s a pretty good defender of its territory.”
But large numbers of wolves need lots of prey around to survive, he said.

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