Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 3/5/01

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 2/23-3/5, 2001

WOLF FIELD JOBS- The Service is advertising for 2 GS-7, 6-month field jobs beginning March 5. The application period closes March 16. The jobs involve locating, capturing, and monitoring wolves. The positions will go from May until November. Some assistance with reducing livestock conflict, including aversive conditioning or harassing wolves near livestock may be required. One position will be stationed in Helena, MT and the other in Lander, WY. Extensive travel and field work will be required. Public communication skills are a must. To learn more see http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/wfjic/jobs/1r7950.htm

 

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 is being finalized and will be published in the 2000 annual report which should be out later this month.

Please report wolf sightings!! 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

Another lama was killed southwest of Marion, MT (in NW MT) on the 23rd. The same group of 3 wolves that previously killed 1 of the 3 lamas, same owner, were responsible. WS and the Service set some traps to radio-collar a wolf and release-on-site but nothing was caught. The man’s remaining lama was given away since it appeared obvious that these wolves figured out how to kill lamas.

Research

The Sheep Mountain (and Chief Joe when they are in the Paradise Valley) are being intensively monitored during Yellowstone National Park’s bi-annual 30 day winter predation study that started March 1. Biologists from the Turner Endangered Species Fund are picking up wolf kills to get species, sex, age, and condition information to add to the data base for Park studies and to get more insight into the concerns of local residents about the potential impact of these wolves on elk and deer populations in this area. Sheep Mountain wolf #189 was found dead on the 2nd and his death is being investigated. Wolf #189 was 1 of 3 wolves that were held and conditioned to avoid cattle as part of a longer term cooperative Wildlife Services research program.

Volunteers with the Wyoming wolf program are again tracking and following wolves in the Gros Ventre, Teton, and Sunlight Basin areas. Volunteers are investigating wolf kills and monitoring the potential effect of wolves on the winter elk feeding programs in Wyoming. Cooperators include the Service, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Teton National Park, National Elk Refuge, and several National Forests.

Information and education and law enforcement

On the 3rd, Jimenez gave a presentation to the Upper Green River Cattleman’s Assoc. in Pinedale, WY. About 30 people attended, including representatives for WY Congress members.

Bangs gave a presentation at the MT Chapter of the Wildlife Society annual meeting on the 1st in Butte, MT, about 100 biologists attended.

Bangs gave hour presentation on wolf recovery and the national wolf reclassification proposal at the 2001 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Eugene, OR on the 2nd. About 150 people attended the talk and several thousand reportedly attended the annual Conference. It included 3 days with125 panels, workshops, and films. The Conf. title was "Keeping the Issues Alive" and was attended by the who’s who of environmental and conservation groups and activists/attorneys (many of whom are litigating the Service). Disappointingly Bangs was one of the few (maybe only) invited presenter from the Service or any other federal agency. You can’t understand other people’s perspective, nor they your’s, if you don’t communicate. The invitation to speak was appreciated, even though most disagreed with the Service’s position.

The Annual North American Wolf Conference will be held at Chico Hot Springs, April 3, 1PM until noon, April 5. 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.

information@gomontan.comIn 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