A young wolf with an expensive “necklace” is playing a major role in helping wildlife researchers map the recovery of gray wolves in Washington. The number of confirmed wolf packs in the state increased by four to 13
in Eastern Washington in 2013. A yearling female wolf captured along Ruby Creek
southwest of Ione on July 15, 2013, and fitted with a GPS transmitter was one of 11 collared wolves state Fish and Wildlife Department biologists monitored in 2013 to help determine the number of packs in Washington. The agency released those numbers in its annual wolf status report on March 8, 2013, bringing the wolves a step closer to official “recovery” and removal from state endangered species protections. Outdoors editor Rich Landers was with biologists on the lucky day when they captured the yearling female that led to the confirmation of the Ruby Creek Pack. His photos detail the process of working up a wolf for research, from beginning to end.