Until 2019, wolves were last known to live in Colorado in the 1940s, when the species was extirpated from the state. Over the years, sighting reports have come into Colorado Parks and Wildlife from our residents and visitors, and we have diligently worked to confirm credible sightings in the state. In the summer of 2019 a wolf from the Snake River Pack (a pack in Wyoming) was located in Jackson County, Colorado.
Following the confirmation of the Snake River wolf a group of six wolves were reported in northwest Colorado and confirmed by CPW staff in January 2020. Confirmation came via staff ground sightings, tracks, and scat in the area originally reported along with game camera images throughout the year.
Most recently, agency staff placed a GPS tracking collar on a wolf in the north-central part of the state. The wolf was confirmed in late January 2021 when it was seen with the known wolf from the Snake River pack.
With wolves having been introduced into neighboring states, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has long been preparing for their migration into the state. With the passing of Proposition 114, CPW will now work with the Parks and Wildlife Commission and stakeholders statewide to restore and manage gray wolves in Colorado no later than December 31, 2023.
Over the past decade we have confirmed or have had probable wolf dispersals that occurred in 2004, 2006, 2009, and 2015.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wolves in Colorado
While the plan is being developed, below you will find some questions we frequently receive regarding living with wolves in Colorado. Wolves are elusive, even to wildlife officers and biologists, but there are some things you should know about living with wolves.