Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 3/16/01

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 3/12-3/16, 2001

WOLF FIELD JOBS- The Service is advertising for 2 GS-7 6-month field jobs. 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 conflicts, 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 are being finalized and will be published in the 2000 annual report which should be out later this month. Meier and Fontaine have been working to incorporate reviewer comments from the first draft into the final product.

The Gros Ventre and Teton packs were located together in the upper Gros Ventre drainage this week. The Gros Ventre pack hasn’t really been seen all winter and has no radioed pack members. The low snow depths allowed elk to winter over a much wider area than most years and the wolves have been able to successfully hunt over a very large area.

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 Dubois area was investigated by Jimenez. It appears that one dog was attacked and injured but survived. Other incidents were spread over several months and likely involved a mountain lion that was going into a "subdivision" near Dubois for dogs. WY Game and Fish was notified.

So far this year it has been very quiet in regards to depredations, basically just 2 llamas in NW MT. It is unknown if that pattern will continue but it has been an unusually mild winter for wild ungulates. However a lone black wolf that attacked sheep several times near Pinedale, WY has been seen again near where previous depredations occurred. WS has again been given the authority to take the animal if encountered, but no intensive deliberate control effort will be initiated unless further livestock are killed. Also remote activated guards (light and siren devices triggered by a wolf’s radio-collar) have been deployed in Idaho on calving pastures where wolves have been walking through cattle (with no problem to date) but where depredations occurred last year.

Research

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

Information and education and law enforcement

Bangs, Niemeyer, and Mack met with the Idaho Legislative Oversight Committee in Boise, ID on the 13th to discuss Service comments on the draft Idaho state wolf plan. About 20 people attended the meeting. On the 14th they met with the Idaho State Senate Natural Resources Committee to update the Committee on the status of wolf recovery and answer questions.

Bangs submitted the final draft of a multi-agency and multi-author short manuscript for the Univ. of Michigan’s Endangered Species Update "Status of Wolf Restoration in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming". The Update will contain a series of papers from the Defenders of Wildlife Carnivore Conference that was held in Denver, CO last fall. Thanks to the coauthors for their comments.

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.

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