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New proposal suggests introducing wolves to Rocky Mountain National Park

Wolves on a trail with snowy mountain in background
(Image credit: D Frank Wright)

Plans for reintroducing wolves to Colorado have been revealed, including a suggestion that a breeding pair could be introduced to Rocky Mountains National Park.

Wolves are currently classed as state endangered in Colorado, which means they are off limits for hunting, scaring off, or relocating – even if they attack livestock. If wildlife managers count more than 50 wolves for four successive winters, the animals will be downgraded from endangered to state threatened, and if at least 150-200 are counted, their protected status will be removed altogether.

However, according to a conglomeration of wildlife and conservation groups, that number is far too low to be self-sustaining, and the population should be closer to 750 or even 1,000 to be considered stable.

As Out There Colorado (opens in new tab) reports, the group (WildEarth Guardians) has now put forward its own suggestion for introducing wolves in 12 zones around the state. Most of these are quite remote areas of wilderness and National Forests, but there's one notable exception: Rocky Mountains National Park.

It might seem like a strange choice, but WildEarth Guardians claim that introducing a pack would help fulfil the park's goal of "the perpetuation of natural features in as near to pristine conditions as possible", while also helping control wasting disease in the local elk population. You can check out WildEarth Guardians' full wolf restoration proposal online (opens in new tab)

As CPR News (opens in new tab) says, Colorado has a mandate to reintroduce wolves by 2023. However, its official plan for reintroducing the animals focuses on the state's Western Slope, and makes no mention of the National Park.

Cat Ellis
Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).