The howl of wolves can be heard echoing in the twilight hours or just before sunrise throughout Yellowstone National Park thanks to the valiant reintroduction effort that took place in 1995. In July of that year 14 wolves were captured from separate packs in Canada and transported to Yellowstone National Park where they were placed in acclimation pens. Then slowly they were given access to the entire park where today they are thriving.
It is more than the fiery eyes and sleek gait of the Canis Lupus, or Gray Wolf that has captured people's imaginations for centuries. Scientists estimate that a wolf's sense of smell is up to one hundred times more sensitive to that of a human. They are extremely quick and agile and are capable of reaching speeds of 40 MPH during a chase. Their sense of hearing is also remarkably high. All these attributes give the wolf its well deserved status of Yellowstone's most efficient and feared predator. Its diet consists of elk, moose, deer, sheep and even mammoth bison. In fact the jaw strength of these skilled hunters had been known to easily break a bison's hind leg.
Wolves are highly intelligent, evidenced in their highly structured nuclear families known as packs. An elaborate hierarchy exists within each pack consisting of a breeding pair of an alpha male and female, a lower group of non breeding adults and a group of immature wolves. All the pack members are submissive to the alpha male and female.
With all the characteristics that a wolf possesses its howl is its trademark. Howling is a wolf's main form of communication and can serve as a declaration of territory or for communal reasons. These beautiful yet haunting choruses can be heard from up to 10 miles away. For over a decade, this song of the wolf has become synonymous with the spacious grandeur of Yellowstone National Park.