Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 6/8/00

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Weeks of 6/01-6/15, 2001

Monitoring

On the 6th, Jimenez and volunteers caught a wolf in the Sunlight pack but it pulled out of the rubber-jawed trap. Meier pulled his trap line in the S. part of Glacier National Park last week. No captures were made. Trapping and collaring efforts will continue throughout the summer. It is hoped that seasonal field crews will be selected soon and can report on June 18th to help with these efforts.

Please report wolf sightings but especially reports in localized areas or reports of wolves "barking" when people are near to help us locate any new wolf dens. Thanks to those who have been forwarding us reports it has helped located several potential new packs.

Control

On the 4th, 3 buck sheep were killed and a couple of others wounded near the Gravelly pack territory. WS investigation confirmed that the radioed Gravelly male was near the depredation site. On the 6th, WS flew and, for the first time this spring, found the male with an unradioed female and 6 pups in a newly dug den. The pups were captured and taken to the holding pen and placed in one of the wolf boxes. The female was captured on the 8th and placed in the pen and the radio collared male was killed. Two wolves were seen in the sheep on the 9th and 10th but were chased off by the herder. Traps have been set to try and capture them but it will be difficult due to the open habitat and no active den or rendezvous sites to localize the pair.

WS investigated and confirmed that wolves killed a llama in the Ninemile Valley on the 7th. Four wolves had been seen in the area by the landowner but one black wolf with a bent tail continued to stay in the vicinity and was thought to be responsible for the kill. Traps were set and a black radio collared yearling male, not the one with the bent tail, was captured on the 8th and released on site. The landowner indicated that the wolves have a regular travel route across his property. The wolves have come thru the area since the depredation but there have been no additional problems. Radio locations indicate that the wolves have now moved to the upper part of the valley.

On the 8th, WS investigated and confirmed that the Grave Creek pack killed a pregnant cow east of Eureka. Traps were set and the alpha female was captured on the 9th and her radio collar was replaced due to the age and weak signal. The traps were removed on the 10th and there have been no additional problems.

WS confirmed that the Whitehawk pack near Stanley Idaho killed 8 sheep and a guard dog on the 9th on a grazing allotment. The herders were instructed in the use of bean bags and cracker shells and an electric fence was erected by the Nez Perce Tribe, Service, WS and others to keep the sheep in at night. On the 13th WS confirmed that a calf was killed, 2 days after the herd was turned out on the allotment, and partially consumed by the pack. The situation is being monitored at this time.

A single wolf, according to tracks in the snow, killed 3 buck sheep, confirmed by WS, on the 15th belonging to the USDA Sheep Experiment Station near Dubois, Idaho. A wolf or pair of wolves killed 6 adult buck sheep on the 18th and another 3 on the 20th of May in the same area just south of the Montana/Idaho border by Monida Pass. No radioed wolves are known to be in the area. Traps have been set to try and radio collar the wolf and figure out what is going on.

A landowner in Paradise Valley, trained and authorized to use nonlethal munitions, hit a gray wolf in the nose from 50 yards away, knocking it to the ground when it entered the boundary set by the landowner and came close to the livestock. The bean bag was followed by several cracker shell rounds. The wolf immediately jumped up and ran off and appeared to be okay. This uncollared gray wolf was thought to be from the Chief Joe pack and may have been the wolf that went nose to nose with a newborn calf earlier this year. It appears that the bean bag worked very well. It is unfortunate that the wolf was not radio collared so it could be monitored to see if it avoided the area. The situation is being monitored. Great work Val on training that landowner.

Research

Nothing new to report.

 

Information and education and law enforcement

On the 5th, Bangs gave a talk to about 25 agency attendees at the People, Economics and Forest Carnivore Course hosted by the USDA Forest Service at the Yellowstone Institute in Yellowstone National Park.

Service employees from the Division of Law enforcement and the Wyoming Wolf Recovery Team received extensive training in natural horsemanship. This training will be incorporated in wolf recovery efforts. The use of horses will make it more efficient; to contact the public in wilderness areas to promote education about the wolf education program, more effectively monitor wolves in some cases, locate den and rendezvous sites, collar wolves (when ground capture is necessary) handle depredation reports in remote or wilderness areas, conduct preventative Law Enforcement or conduct investigations of wolves killed in remote areas. The use of horses is necessary in many situations saving both time and money while providing better management of the wolves.

Meier gave a presentation to about 40 Glacier National Park interpreters on the 4th.

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