Carnivore Restoration News :: Sinapu

Friday, March 03, 2006

Probable Wolf Sighting in Colorado

By Bill Schneider
New West Network


On February 18, Colorado Division of Wildlife district wildlife managers observed and briefly captured on video a large canid they strongly suspect was a wolf. The sighting occurred ten miles south of the Wyoming border near Walden, Colorado.

Seeing a wolf in Colorado is a really big deal politically, ecologically and every other way, so the state agency tiptoed around the announcement, just in case. The DOW press release put it like this: ‘Biologists and wolf specialists who have examined the video say the animal seen on the tape looks and behaves like a wolf.’

"There's really no way to be absolutely sure just by looking at an animal, and even genetic testing isn’t 100% reliable” said Gary Skiba, Senior Wildlife Conservation Biologist and DOW coordinator for the state's Wolf Management Working Group.

Having worked for and with state wildlife agencies for decades, I can say this must be solid. If it were suspect, the agency wouldn’t put out a press release, so there is most likely at least one wolf in Colorado.

And it will be protected. "It's important that everyone understand that, for now, wolves remain under the protection of the Endangered Species Act," Skiba concluded. "Federal protections of all wolves continue to be in effect."