Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 3/17/00

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 03/23/2000 - 03/29/2000

Monitoring

Core packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana are generally in their normal home ranges. See the 1999 annual report http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/wolf/annualrpt99/ for a map of those pack locations and home ranges.

Wolf pairs have bred and we anticipate that several new packs will form this spring. We have received many wolf observation reports that are helping us to look for wolf activity in some new areas and beginning to schedule potential spring/summer capture efforts. Please continue to report wolf sightings so that we can focus any aircraft searches for missing radio-collared wolves or our track surveys in areas of concentrated wolf activity this winter and spring.

Management and Control

Fontaine went to Trego, MT, to investigate reports of a bold, collared wolf approaching vehicles on two occasions. With help from MDFWP biologist Tim Thier, Fontaine monitored the collared Murphy Lake wolves who appear to be denning in the area. However, the wolves kept out of sight so Fontaine was unable implement any aversive action.

A Great Pyrenees dog injured 4 weeks ago in the Ninemile Valley, potentially by wolves, has now disappeared. It is unknown if wolves or other factors caused the dog’s disappearance.

A small herding dog was attacked by wolves from the Gros Ventre Pack near Jackson, Wyoming on March 27. The dog was severely injured but survived. Defenders of Wildlife is helping to pay for veterinary bills. No control action was taken.

WS agent Rick Williamson continued to trap for the Twin Peaks Pack near Clayton, ID. The pack has killed 4 calves so far this year. Four wolves have been killed from the pack, and the alpha pair was captured and translocated into the Selway-Bitterroot wilderness on March 15. No more aerial operations are being conducted by USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services pending the investigation of a fatal crash in Texas.

Research

Intensive monitoring of elk and wolves (Teton and Gros Ventre Packs) in the Jackson, WY area will wind down next week to avoid disturbing wolves during the denning period.

 

Information and education and law enforcement

Jimenez talked to ~25 people with the Jackson Hole Valley Conservation Alliance in Jackson, WY on March 29.

The Annual Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Conference is scheduled for Chico Hot Springs, April 11-13. Juan Carlos Blanco will talk on Wolf Recolonization in Spain for the banquet. Wolf management issues from around the United States will be presented.

JOBS! We are seeking experienced volunteers to assist with summer wolf trapping efforts in NW Montana. We are looking for volunteers with previous wolf and/or coyote trapping experience. We can pay a minimum per diem but no salary. We will furnish field accommodations. If interested, contact Diane Boyd at (406) 449-5225 x 207, or by email at diane_boyd@fws.gov)

The Service's weekly wolf report can now be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/wolf/ in addition to the regular distribution.

Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449_5225 x204 or ed_bangs@fws.gov