Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 3/12/01

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 3/5-3/12, 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/IR7950.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.

A pack of 3 black and 2 gray wolves were reportedly seen on the Blacktail State Game Range, northeast of Dillon, MT. This is probably the Gravelly pack that has no radio-collared members. Fontaine flew the area on the 6th but did not locate any wolves. Wildlife Services was in the area doing coyote work and they were going to dart and radio-collar any wolves seen during their work. We will continue to keep an eye on this area, since thousands of sheep will soon be nearby.

Wolf sighting reports indicate that there are 3 wolves in the remote Beartooth area, southwest of Red Lodge, MT.

On the 9th, the alpha male (120 lbs.) and a yearling male (113 lbs). were darted and radio-collared in the Sunlight Basin pack. Jimenez, Bangs, and Special Agent Eicher participated. Attempts to dart other wolves in WY were not successful due to weather, logistics, and wolf location.

Volunteers working in the Dubious area counted 6 members in the Washakie pack, which means this pack apparently produced pups in 2000. Repeated attempts to get more collars in this pack has been unsuccessful so far because of logistics or the pack has been in heavy timber, but efforts are continuing.

 

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

A rumor/report of several dogs being attacked in the Dubious area was investigated by Jimenez but at this point it most of it appears to be unconfirmed. No formal complaints have been received.

Trapping for the wolves that killed the llama in McGinnis meadows is continuing but no wolves have return to be captured so far.

Research

The Yellowstone intensive 30 day spring wolf predation study is ongoing.

Information and education and law enforcement

On the 12th, Fontaine and WS specialist Jim Stevens met with ranchers in the Hall, MT area. This was near the area where 3 wolves killed 3 sheep early this winter.

Meier accompanied Carolyn Sime to a meeting with other MT DW&P biologists from Regions 1 and 2 on the 8th. The state wolf planning effort and the status of wolf recovery was discussed.

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. The final agenda will be available March 2nd.

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