WILDLIFE — Northern Rockies gray wolf packs are highly structured socially. Only the alpha male and alpha female breed.
Generally, according to Washington Fish and Wildlife biologists:
- Mating occurs in January.
- Pups are born in dens in April and the pack supports the nursing mother with food.
- The female and pups begin uniting with the pack at a rendezvous site in May.
- Pups are weaned in June.
- By October, the pups are actively hunting with the pack.
- By December, the pups appear full size and some older wolves may have been dispersed from the pack to take care of themselves and find new mates and territories.
- Wolf packs are known to kill other wolves as they expand or defend territories averaging 350 square miles. Dispersing wolves are especially vulnerable.
A pack is defined as a minimum of two wolves hanging out together.
A breeding pack must have a minimum of one male and one female wolf hanging out together during the winter breeding period.