Yellowstone Forever

The Yellowstone Wolf Project

Wolf Project

 Wolf Project

Photos: NPS (left), Matt Ludin (right)


Regarded as dangerous predators, wolves almost became extinct in the United States due to extermination efforts and loss of habitat.

By 1926, wolves were no longer part of Yellowstone's ecosystem.   In 1973, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the northern Rocky Mountain wolf (Canis lupus) as an endangered species and designated the Greater Yellowstone Area as one of three recovery sites because of its large size and the abundance of prey. 

From 1995 to 1997, 41 wolves from Canada and northwest Montana were released in Yellowstone National Park (YNP).  Currently, over 300 of their descendants live in the Greater Yellowstone Area. 

In 2011, the grey wolf was removed from the endangered species list, and wolves are now delisted throughout the northern Rocky Mountains. 

Although the importance of wolves as part of a naturally functioning ecosystem is better understood, continued research and monitoring of their impact is considered a high priority for Yellowstone.  To facilitate monitoring and research, YNP maintains radio collars in all wolf packs within the Park.  Wolf project staff monitors demographics, life history, dispersal, distribution, disease, genetics, predator-prey dynamics, and ecosystem impacts. 

Yellowstone Wolf Project Updates

Flight Log from the Yellowstone Wolf Project:
View the latest Flight Log highlighting the second highest pup survival rate ever documented in the Park: 37 of 39 pups born surviving until December 31, 2013.  Also included is a special message from wildlife biologist Dan Stahler.

flight log 2014

Notes from the Field:
Biological technician Rick McIntyre shares his field notes and stories of the Lamar Canyon wolves. 

Rick in Field Notes

Research Collaring 2012:
Each year, approximately 10 to 20 wolves are sedated and radio-collared.  These collars allow Park staff to keep track of the wolves for research and management purposes.   Handling the wolves provides critical data such as body size, disease screening, genetic sampling, age, sex, breeding status, and condition.  View this 4-minute video to learn more about Yellowstone wolf collaring and research.

Wolf project collaring 2012

Yellowstone Wolf Project Annual Report

Did you know Yellowstone Wolf Project volunteers logged more than 6,000 hours in 2012, or that a total of ten wolf packs occupy Yellowstone? This recently published 2012 report summarizes Yellowstone's wolf packs, their territories, and the important findings from the year.

2012 wolf report

How to Support the Yellowstone Wolf Project

The Yellowstone Park Foundation (YPF) has funded 70 percent of the Yellowstone Wolf Project since 1995.  While the federal government provides funding for basic monitoring, YPF donors support the project's equipment needs, long-term research on the impacts Park wolves have on the ecosystem, sufficient aerial monitoring, and the seasonal staff necessary to run the project effectively on a day-to-day basis.   Learn about the number of ways you can directly support the Yellowstone Wolf Project.

To begin or renew your Yellowstone Wolf Project support today, please use our convenient online donation form.  Be sure to write "Yellowstone Wolf Project" in the comments section of the donation form.  Alternatively, you can print and mail the Yellowstone Wolf Project donation form.  

For more information about donating to the Yellowstone Wolf Project, please contact:

J.D. Davis
Phone: 406.586.6303

Adopt a Yellowstone Plush Wolf

To help raise awareness about the protection of Yellowstone’s spectacular native species, and to support the critical wildlife conservation work of the Yellowstone Park Foundation, we offer a special opportunity for you to Adopt a Yellowstone Animal!

Your symbolic adoption will help YPF support projects such as the multi-year Yellowstone Wildlife Health Program, wolf monitoring and research, and the protection of the Yellowstone Lake ecosystem through the preservation of Yellowstone cutthroat trout.

A 12” Wolf and 12" Cutthroat Trout are available.  With your adoption donation, you will receive:

  • 12-inch plush animal
  • Educational fact sheet with color photographs
  • Personalized "Certificate of Adoption"
  • Free shipping!


To adopt a Yellowstone Plush Animal visit


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