Counting Pairs Rather than Packs
Well what’s the difference you ask — Washington Cattlemen’s Association Executive Vice President Jack Field shares the WDFW definition of a pair.
Field: “You’re talking an Alpha male and Alpha female and two pups — its at least four and then there are generally a few wolves go along. So if you have a successful pair you have a pack, but if you have a pack you don’t have a pair because a pack is only two or more wolves traveling together.”
Lacking in common sense you say? Sadly I went to the WDFW website for more clarification and found on their Frequently Asked Questions page their answer of how many wolves are in a pack. QUOTE: “Two or more wolves traveling together can constitute a “pack,” but a pack typically consists of five to 10, including the alpha male and female. The rest of the pack may consist of pups from the current year and a few offspring from the past year or two that are subordinate to the breeding adults. Packs can be substantially larger in size (up to 20 or more wolves) in locations with abundant prey.” UNQUOTE
Currently there are 13 packs in Washington state and only a mere five breeding pairs.
To see the pack break down go to WDFW site http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/packs/