Washington Wolf Packs: Lookout

February 2013

The Lookout pack has two members. This winter WDFW biologists are attempting to capture a wolf in this pack to equip it with a monitoring collar.

Remote-camera images show that two wolves, which appear to be a male and female based on size and other physical characteristics, are using the Lookout Pack territory. Repeated surveys of historic den and rendezvous sites and traditional areas of summertime use suggested that this pair of wolves did not reproduce during the summer of 2012. 

In April 2012, state wildlife managers determined that these wolves were responsible for the death of a domestic calf on private property on the edge of traditional Lookout Pack territory. A trapping effort was conducted in response to the depredation, but no wolves were captured. 

History

The Lookout pack was Washington’s first fully documented breeding wolf pack since the 1930s. The breeding male and female were captured and radio-collared in 2008 southwest of Twisp near Lookout Mountain, for which the pack is named. Other pack members, including six pups, were photographed with remote cameras that summer.

However, the pack appeared to suffer significant human-caused mortality from illegal killing by 2009. (The killing of up to five wolves was included in a federal grand jury indictment in June 2011.) By April 2009, only the breeding pair and one yearling were thought to remain, but at least four pups had survived by the end of the year, for a total of seven wolves.  

In May 2010, the radio-collared female disappeared less than three weeks after the suspected birth of a litter. She was pregnant in April and was last seen at a den site on May 12. Extensive searches for her were conducted and she is presumed dead. This appeared to cause a breakdown in pack structure, with the radio-collared male ranging more widely and spending most of the summer alone; his radio collar stopped functioning in November  2010. This pack was not a breeding pair for 2010.

The radio-collared male was last seen in June 2011.  In September 2011 a hunter documented at least two and possibly three wolves in the far western portion of the traditional Lookout territory.  WDFW staff follow-up yielded several remote camera photos of at least one and possibly two wolves in the same area, one of which may have been a female. Credible public reports of at least two animals on traditional Lookout Pack winter range continued through the end of 2011.  

WDFW News

Images & Video

Lookout Pack Wolf Pups - August 2013
Biologist Spence captured video footage of two Lookout Pack wolf pups at a rendezvous site several weeks ago before the pack likely moved to the high country for the next few months until winter snows push deer down onto the winter range.

Pup from the Lookout Pack in Okanogan County – August 2009

Lookout Pack den tunnel
in Okanogan County July 2009
Unknown adult from the Lookout Pack
in Chelan County September 2011
Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Yearling wolf from the Lookout Pack in Okanogan County - July 2008 Pups from the Lookout Pack


Pregnant alpha female from the Lookout Pack in Okanogan County April 2010
(Remote camera image)
Alpha male from the Lookout Pack
in Okanogan County May 2010
(Remote camera image)
Yearling wolf from the Lookout Pack in Okanogan County - July 2008 Pups from the Lookout Pack
Yearling wolf from the Lookout Pack
in Okanogan County - July 2008
(Remote camera image)
Pups from the Lookout Pack
in Okanogan County - July 2008
(Remote camera image)
Yearling wolf from the Lookout Pack in Okanogan County - July 2008 Pups from the Lookout Pack

Photos courtesy of Conservation Northwest