The grey wolf present in northern Colorado is given a GPS monitoring collar

DENVER (KDVR) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) spotted a gray wolf in northern central Colorado in January and was able to attach a GPS tracking collar to it.

CPW confirmed it was a wolf when it was spotted with another frilled wolf that came to Colorado from the Snake River wolf pack in Wyoming in 2019.

“The GPS collar enables our biologists and wildlife managers to learn more about the travel patterns of wolves entering the state,” said Dan Prenzlow, director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “VHF collars are useful for locating an animal, but the more advanced GPS collar allows us to better understand the animal’s movement, range and behavior.”

CPW said it caught the wolf from a helicopter and used a sedative so the collar could be placed.

During the trial, the wolf detached itself from the net it was in and headed north towards Wyoming, according to CPW.

CPW said the wolf had just been subjugated within the Wyoming state line. At that time it was manned and the staff stayed with it until it was attentive and mobile. CPW staff briefed Wyoming Game and Fish on the operation and the border crossing.

“We value Wyoming Game and Fish,” said Prenzlow. “I understand that this work affects them and that wildlife doesn’t understand where our dividing lines are.”

“The fresh-necked wolf is a four-year-old male weighing approximately 30 kg,” said Brian Dreher, head of terrestrial affairs at Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “The wolf underwent a health exam during the collar process and appears to be in good health.”

In Colorado, gray wolves remain an endangered species and may only be caught for self-defense reasons.

Colorado voters approved an election in November 2020 instructing the CPW commission to work out a plan to 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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