Beautiful Swan Lake

A cotton candy sunrise over Swan Lake in Yellowstone

You'll find Swan Lake in the northern part of Yellowstone National Park, just a few miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs.

There is a wolf pack that hangs out here called the Swan Lake Pack. The Swan Lake pack formed when a Leopold disperser (152F) and an uncollared gray male had pups and established a territory in the Swan Lake Flats and Gardiner’s Hole area. In 2001, two adult males were collared including 206M (thought to be the original uncollared gray alpha male) and 204M (unknown origin). 

While 206M was identified as the likely alpha male, genetics showed that 204M fathered at least some pups between 2000 and 2005. Swan Lake wolf 296F was radiocollared in 2003 as a pup. This female dispersed later in the same year and was hit by a car and killed near Denver, Colorado in June 2004. 

This dispersal distance of over 400 miles provides a great example of the extreme distances wolves are capable of traveling. This pack dissolved in 2005 when the alpha female (152F) died (possibly killed by an ungulate blow), breeder 204M dispersed and was later killed by other wolves, and another collared female (355F) died of unknown causes. 

Of the two remaining collared wolves from the Swan Lake pack, 473M dispersed outside of Yellowstone and 295M was last located near Sphinx Creek in July 2007. Information about the Swan Lake Pack was found HERE =]:)

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  1. As usual when I read your personal stories, tears run down my face.
    I wish I'd known your grandfather, Peter. I can sense his love for you in your words.

  2. Aww. Thanks so much Nina! He was awesome. You would have gotten along great. Hugs back. :-)


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