What Happened To The Black Wolf At Yellowstone?

What Happened To The Black Wolf At Yellowstone?

Written By:

Post Date – Updated:

When you visit Yellowstone National Park, you may have the chance to glimpse a view of a very unusual colored wolf – a black wolf. Black wolves are considered an icon of Yellowstone National Park.

The Black wolves at Yellowstone are still part of Yellowstone National Park. In Yellowstone National Park, 50% of the wolves are black; the black color is not native to most wolf populations. Yellowstone National Park had no wolve population; the wolves were reintroduced in the mid-1990s.

Table of Contents

About The Black Wolves In Yellowstone National Park

Black Wolves In Yellow National Park

Black wolves are among the most iconic animals people want to see at Yellowstone National Park. Wildlife watchers from around the world go to Yellowstone to try to see a glimpse of these black wolves.

Historically, wolves never had a black coat; science has been able to discover the origins of the black wolf.

Dr. Dan Stahler, A Yellowstone National park Biologist, said that most wolves are grey or white and that black is not a native color of wolves. When you get further north, the wolves are white as the white color camouflages them in the snow.

When you go to the Great Lakes area, many wolves are grey, but black is not a native color for any wolves.

Dr. Dan Stahler has done genetic testing on the wolves, and they have discovered where the black wolves come from. Dr. Stahler said:

So where did black wolves come from? You can thank humans and our pets for adding black to the color palette for wolves. Humans bringing domestic dogs across about seven thousand years ago brought these dogs that had black coat color genes in them. And, some of these dogs bred with wild wolves, somewhere in the area of the Yukon. And this gene got into wild wolf populations.”

Dr. Dan Stahler – Yellowstone National Park Biologist

The researchers used cutting-edge genetic technology to learn more about the Black wolves at Yellowstone National Park.

In their research, the scientists discovered that the black wolves’ genes were from breeding with dogs and that the black wolf has a more robust immune system than their grey wolf counterparts. But grey wolves also had a secret advantage because grey wolf pups have a higher litter success rate than black wolves.

The wolves are split 50/50 by color in Yellowstone National Park. So when you see a wolf at Yellowstone, you have a 50% chance of seeing a grey wolf and a 50% chance of seeing a black wolf.

Wolf Population Missing In Yellowstone National Park For Many Years

The westward expansion of the United States brought many settlers into the western United States. It also directly connected the settlers and their livestock to native wildlife predators such as wolves. The wolves, finding their homes being destroyed and taken over by the settlers, started to feed on the domestic livestock.

Ranchers started to actively protect their livestock with controls such as shooting the wolves, poisoning them, or using any other means to find a way to get rid of what they saw as the wolf population and problem.

For many, the way the wolves would kill all kinds of prey was considered destruction, so wolves were also being killed inside the Yellowstone National Park area.

Listen To Our Podcast About Yellowstone National Park – A Great Place To Visit below or by clicking here.

Wolves Were Reintroduced To Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park was Surveyed in the 1970s, and could find no evidence of a wolf population in the Yellowstone area. It is believed that wolves occasionally wandered in and out of the area, but scientists could find no substantial wolf population.

The problem with this is that the wolf is a significant predator that is also part of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. It was not until 1995 that Yellowstone started a project to bring wolves back into the Yellowstone Park area and reintroduce them as part of the Yellowstone ecosystem.

It has been shown that restoring the wolves to the Yellowstone area will help lead to greater biodiversity throughout the entire Yellowstone area.

If you want to learn more about Yellowstone’s Park Wolf Restoration Project and the effect that it has had on wildlife and other animals in the Yellowstone area, you can visit their website by clicking here.

Virtually Visit Yellowstone With The Conquer Virtual Challenge

Conquer Virtual Challenge Grand Canyon Challenge Example

If you are planning to visit Yellowstone national park or are just a fan of Yellowstone National Park, one of the great ways you can virtually travel and see the park is through the Conquer Virtual Challenge. The Conquer Virtual Challenge is a challenge where you log miles on their app that count towards your travel as you virtually travel through Yellowstone Park. On the Conquer Virtual Challenge, each time you walk, run, swim, cycle, or do another form of exercise.

Each time you record those miles, you go out there and move along your virtual journey through Yellowstone park. You can make this journey alone or together with a group of friends.

We love how you can see where you are on your Yellowstone Conquer Virtual Challenge with their interactive map. Each time you go past an important landmark, the Conquer Virtual Challenge will send you a postcard to tell you about the area you have just virtually traveled

They will send you their Yellowstone medal when you have completed the journey. If you want to sign up for the Yellowstone Conquer Virtual Challenge or another one of their challenges, you can get 10% off on your first challenge by clicking on the link below:

At A Bus On A Dusty Road, we talk about travel, life, and ex-pat living. We are all about “Living Life As A Global Citizen.” We explore social, cultural, and economic issues and travel.

We would love to have you be part of our community. Sign up for our newsletter to keep up-to-date by clicking here. If you have any questions, you can contact me, Anita, by clicking here.

Listen to our Podcast called Dusty Roads. You can find it on all major podcast platforms. Try out listening to one of our podcasts by clicking here.

Subscribe to our A Bus On A Dusty Road YouTube Channel with great videos and information by clicking here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Yellowstone National Park located?

Yellowstone National Park is located primarily in the U.S. states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.

What is Yellowstone National Park known for?

Yellowstone is known for its geothermal features, including the famous Old Faithful geyser, as well as its diverse wildlife and stunning natural landscapes.

Are black wolves part of Yellowstone National Park?

Yes, black wolves are still part of the Yellowstone National Park ecosystem.

What percentage of wolves in Yellowstone are black?

Approximately 50% of the wolves in Yellowstone National Park are black.

Is the black color native to most wolf populations?

No, the black color is not native to most wolf populations. It is a relatively rare color variation.

When were wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park?

Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in the mid-1990s as part of a restoration program.

Why were wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park?

Wolves were reintroduced to restore the natural balance and biodiversity of the park’s ecosystem, as they play a crucial role as apex predators.

How many wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone?

A total of 41 wolves from Canada were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park between 1995 and 1997.

Which Airport Is Close To Yellowstone? And Other Yellowstone Airport Travel Facts

West Yellowstone Airport is the closest airport to Yellowstone National Park. The airport is only a few miles from the park entrance but has a limited flight schedule and is not open all year round. Other airports include Jackson Hole Airport and Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport; both offer more flights, car rental, and ground transportation options.

By clicking here, you can discover Which Airport Is Close To Yellowstone? And Other Yellowstone Airport Travel Facts.

Is Yogi Bears Jellystone Park Based On Yellowstone Park?

Yogi bear’s Jellystone is known to be based on Yellowstone National Park, even though it is supposed to represent all U.S. National Parks. Yogi Bear is a fictional cartoon character that has been around since 1958 but has recently seen some reemergence with a new Yogi Bear Movie (2010) and Jellystone Cartoon series (2021).

By clicking here, you can discover Is Yogi Bears Jellystone Park Based On Yellowstone Park?.

Best Way To Visit Yellowstone Without A Car

The closest airport to Yellowstone is the West Yellowstone Airpot. There are ground transportation services available at the airport. Yellowstone does have many tour companies that can operate a host of tours; the National Park Service keeps a complete list. Is it also possible for you to do your self-guided tour.

By clicking here, you can discover Best Way To Visit Yellowstone Without A Car.

Anita L Hummel
Follow Me

Share Our Content