Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 2/09/01

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Weeks of 2/02-2/09, 2001

Monitoring

Packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana are moving throughout their home ranges. See the 1999 annual report http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/wolf/annualrpt99/ for a map of those pack locations and home ranges. The annual "official" count of wolf breeding pairs and new pack home ranges are being finalized and will be published in the 2000 annual report which should be out later this month.

Attempts to helicopter capture and radio-collar additional wolves in packs in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho are continuing. Weather and helicopter availability did not come together this week but the effort is ongoing.

Please report wolf sightings!! Signs were distributed asking hunters to report wolf observations. We have copies of these signs for any agency folks willing to post them at information centers, offices, or hunter check stations, etc. Thanks to those who have been forwarding us reports it has helped located several potential new packs. When we are this close to reaching the 30 breeding pair recovery goal, each wolf pack becomes very important.

Control

A calf was reported killed by wolves along the East Front of Montana. WS investigated and determined the calf was likely killed by wolves. A flight over the area did not locate any radio-collared wolves. Attempting to get a radio-collar in the group of up to 3 wolves, if the opportunity presents itself, will be the only control at this time.

Research

Yellowstone National Park will begin its second year of adult female elk capture, pregnancy testing, and radio-collaring this week. Seventeen elk were caught on the 6th, the operation ended on the 8th after 11 more were captured. Thirty-five elk from last year are also being monitored. In the past year one was killed by a mountain lion, one by wolves, and 5 by hunters during the Gardiner late hunt.

Information and education and law enforcement

CALL FOR PAPERS- ANNUAL North American Wolf Conference. Chico Hot Springs, April 3, 1PM until noon, April 5. Contact Joe Fontaine at 406-449-5225 x206 or joseph_fontaine@fws.gov with presentation proposals and abstracts. Information about the conference or to register can be viewed at www09.tierranet.com/forwolves.org/confer2001.html or contact Suzanne Laverty at 208-424-9385.

In addition, Wildlife Veterinary Resources is hosting the Second Wolf Field Techniques Workshop Monday April 2 and Tuesday, April 3, also at Chico Hot Springs. Wildlife VR is gathering wolf professionals from around the continent to present information on state-of-the-art equipment and techniques for wolf capture and handling for research and management. Wolf professionals are invited to speak. Speaker abstracts should be completed by February 15, 2001. For a proposed agenda and abstract guidelines visit the Wildlife Veterinary Resources at www.wildlife-vet.com

The Service's weekly wolf report can now be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at http://www.r6.fws.gov/wolf in addition to the regular distribution.

Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 x204 or Internet-ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV