Wild Wolf Packs — How Big are They?

The average size of Yellowstone packs is 10. In Michigan, the average size of wild packs is 4. A pack of 37-38 has been seen in Yellowstone, before it broke up. In a pack that size, Beta females also breed, in addition to the Alpha pair. Then those females (and mates) are more likely to leave and start their own pack.

Mating Preferences for Wild Wolves

Some Yellowstone research shows wolves prefer to mate with a different colored wolf. Since Yellowstone wolves are about 50/50 grey and black, that shows a decided preference for “opposites attract.” In one big study, 62% of all matings tracked were of a grey wolf to a black wolf. There’s speculation it’s part of the instinct to prevent in-breeding. (Source: Yellowstone Wolves book.)