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Yellowstone Wolf: Project Citizen Science

Yellowstone's wolf packs—Junction Butte Pack

The Junction Butte pack formed in April 2012 when 838M dispersed from the Agate Creek pack with two females. The two Agate females quickly disappeared but later that month 838M was seen with two new unknown females and an uncollared gray adult nicknamed “Puff”, originally from the Blacktail Deer Plateau pack. During the first year, this pack had 3 collared wolves (838M, 777M, 823F) join the pack and subsequently die (2 killed by other wolves, 1 legally harvested in Montana), leaving the pack un-trackable using telemetry equipment. After 870F sustained a neck injury during the 2013 breeding season and lost her status as the alpha female, “Ragged Tail” paired with the alpha male “Puff” to become the new alpha female. At some point in October, “Ragged Tail” disappeared and 870F regained her alpha status; the fate of “Ragged Tail” is unknown. Around the same time, the alpha male “Puff” also disappeared (fate unknown) and “New Male” briefly acted as alpha male until he was found killed by other wolves (likely the 8-Mile pack) at a carcass in December of 2013. “New Male” was identified by a distinctive scar under his right eye based on photographs posted to the Yellowstone Wolf: Project Citizen Science website. 890M took over as alpha male and paired with alpha female 870F until both were replaced by 911M and 970F as alphas in December of 2014. Three Junction Butte females, including 970F, 907F and 969F, were seen breeding during the 2015 mating season. In September 2016, 911M was killed by Prospect Peak wolves. He fought valiantly but was old and had multiple long-term injuries. After 3 wolves were harvest in late 2016, and another was not seen again, Junction Butte was only seen sporadically and it was difficult to identify who was whom. The 2017 breeding season was an interesting time for this pack; 969F was displaced as alpha female by her sister, 907F. 4 wolves from Prospect Peak took advantage of the opening in this pack and seemed to become members. The Junctions denned in April 2017, but no pups survived. In April 2018, we believe that at three females had pups at the Slough Creek dens – 907F, 969F, and an uncollared black female. 996M displayed very odd behavior towards the pups, potentially killing a few of them. The Junctions moved the remaining 8 pups out of the Slough area in early summer, but by August, only 3 pups remained. These 3 pups have been a joy to watch grow up and the pack remains a strong force in Lamar Valley! [Updated 4/2019]

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Pack composition

ID Social status Age class Color Sex Age Mange status Birth year Birth pack Description
907FAlphaAdultGrayFemale6Uninfected2013Junction Butte PackOnly radio-collared pup from the 2013 cohort. Her minor mange infection in late fall 2013 worsened through the 2014 winter, but she has made a full recovery as of March 2015. She pushed her sister, 969F, out of the position of alpha female in 2017 and bred a young male from Prospect Peak (1048M) who joined the pack.
969FSubordinateAdultGrayFemale6Uninfected2013Junction Butte PackShe was seen alone quite a bit in 2015-2016, but as of 2017 she is with the pack.
996MSubordinateAdultBlackMale4Uninfected2015Prospect Peak PackOriginally a Prospect Peak wolf, he joined Junction Butte in March 2017. His collar is not functional.
1047MAlphaAdultBlackMale5Uninfected20148 Mile PackThis wolf is black with blonde/orange-ish mottled markings. He attempted to disperse with the other males that left Prospect for Junction Butte in March 2017, but was unsuccessful. He wandered, often seen with Prospect Peak in 2015, and then joined Junction Butte in March 2017. 1047M has a noticeable limp; he typically lags behind the rest of the pack although is able to maintain his position as alpha male.
1048MSubordinateAdultBlackMale4Uninfected20158 Mile PackOriginally an 8 Mile wolf, then Prospect Peak during 2016, this feisty male left Prospect in March 2017 and bred 907F, the alpha female of Junction Butte at the time.
1109FSubordinateAdultBlackFemale4Uninfected2015Born in 2015 or 2016, this wolf joined Junction Butte Pack in spring 2017. She is a light black color and had a limp for most of 2017 - earning her the title "Limper" for many months; she was collared in December 2017 and is now referred to as 1109F.
No ID yetSubordinateAdultBlackMale?UninfectedLimping badly on his front right leg, this wolf joined Junction Butte Pack in August 2017. His origins are currently unknown.
No ID yetSubordinateAdultBlackFemale3Uninfected2016
No ID yetSubordinatePupBlackUnknown1Uninfected2018Junction Butte Pack
No ID yetSubordinatePupBlackUnknown1Uninfected2018Junction Butte Pack
No ID yetSubordinatePupGrayUnknown1Uninfected2018Junction Butte Pack

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Past pack members

ID Social status Age class Color Sex Age Mange status Birth year Birth pack Death year Description
869MSubordinateUnknownGrayMale7Uninfected2012Junction Butte Pack869M had severe hair loss over most of his body due to mange infection during the 2012/2013 winter. By April 2014 he appears mange-free. Last location was May 1, 2014 and he may be showing dispersal behavior.
870FUnknownGrayFemale11Uninfected20082015Birth year is 2008 or 2009. During the 2012/2013 breeding season 870F was injured an lost her position as alpha female of the Junction Butte pack. Later in 2013, she traveled with her neck pointed down, as if she is always smelling the ground. In November 2013 she seemed healed and regained her alpha status within the pack. She denned in 2014 but the number of pups is unknown. During the winter of 2014/2015, she was largely alone. 870F was found dead in March 2015.
889FUnknownBlackFemale8Uninfected20112014She was radio-collared as a Junction Butte wolf in winter 2013 and denned unsuccessfully in 2013 as a pair with 890M. During Fall 2013, she traveled with 755M but they also failed to den in 2014. She was harvested during the 2014 wolf hunt.
890MAlphaUnknownBlackMale8Uninfected2011This wolf was nicknamed "Patch" before he was radio-collared because of the pattern of hair loss due to his mange infection, from which he has recovered. He left Junction Butte and joined Mollies in summer 2016. His collar is no longer functional.
911MAlphaUnknownGrayMale9Uninfected20102016Birth year 2010 or 2011. This wolf was with the Blacktail alpha male (778M) from fall 2013 until the 2014 breeding season. Later in the winter he was with 755M, 889F, and a black adult female from the Junction Butte pack. During the 2014 denning season, he and the Junction Butte black adult female re-joined the Junction Butte pack. He previously had mange but appears to have recovered. He was killed in September 2016 by Prospect Peak wolves.
994MSubordinateUnknownGrayMale42015He has not been seen since late 2016, most likely dispersed.
New MaleSubordinateUnknownGrayMale?
PuffAlphaUnknownGrayMale?InfectedClassic gray coloration. Only adult gray uncollared male other than "New Male". Smaller than "New Male" who was with the pack often in 2013.
Ragged TailAlphaUnknownGrayFemale?Uninfected