Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 1/11/02

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 1/4 to 1/11, 2002

The U.S. Department of the Interior had all of its email shut down by a court order during the first week of December. While the case did not involve the Service, the court order disrupted distribution of the weekly reports and prevented all email communication with the Fish and Wildlife Service. We do not know when we will be back on line. We thank Ralph Maughan and others for distributing the weeklies for us until this situation is corrected.

Monitoring

Routine winter helicopter darting operations in the Greater Yellowstone Area and central Idaho areas will begin as soon as conditions permit but weather so far has prevented any attempts. Wolves will be captured, radio-collared and released on site. In open terrain, such as in the Greater Yellowstone Area and the SE parts of central Idaho, winter helicopter darting can be a more effective and less expensive method of radio-collaring wolves than trapping during the summer months. The Service attempts to keep active collars on 15% to 25% of the wolf population.

The pair consisting of the radioed female that picked up a mate in the Gros Ventre area has moved south. They killed an elk on a state elk feed ground near Pinedale, WY and local G&F folks were notified. Tracks of 3 or more wolves, indicate an uncollared group is still using the Gros Ventre drainage, probably remnants of the old Gros Ventre pack.

Meier and volunteer Paul Frame did some snow tracking over the Christmas break. They found four members of the unradioed Apgar pack (formerly S. Camas). The alpha female was the only radioed member and she was found dead this fall. Her death is under LE investigation. Getting a radio in this pack may require back-country trapping which is tricky because of high grizzly bear density in the pack’s territory in Glacier National Park. Asher, Liz Bradley and volunteer Jochim Vos will begin snowtracking efforts in the Gallatin and Madison Valley as our efforts continue to investigate and test alternative methods to radio collars to census wolf population.

See the 2000 annual report http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/wolf/annualrpt00/ for a map of pack locations and home ranges. The interagency 2001 annual report is being prepared and should be available by February 2002. Because DOI email is down this site is not active at the current time.

Please report wolf sightings!! If hunters or outdoors enthusiasts report evidence of wolves to you please pass that information along to the Service.

Control

Nothing new to report.

 

Research

Nothing new to report.

Information and education and law enforcement

Bangs and MT FW&P biologist Carolyn Sime attended the MT Guides and Outfitters annual meeting in Billings, MT on the 12th. They gave talks on wolves, state wolf planning and the delisting process in a session titled "Demystifying Delisting". Between 50 and 200 people were expected to attend.

 

A Utah man pleaded guilty to shooting and then transporting a wolf from central Idaho in 2000. He received 8 months in jail, $500 fine, and one year supervised release with no hunting during that time. Congratulations to Service LE and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources on a job well done!!

THE ANNUAL WOLF CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD IN BOISE, ID INSTEAD OF CHICO, MT THIS YEAR, AT THE SUGGESTION OF SEVERAL AGENCY PEOPLE WHO WANTED MORE VARIETY. THE CONF. IS SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 23rd to 25th. THE CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS IS OUT SO PLEASE CONTRIBUTE SOME IDEAS!!

CONTACT Joe_Fontaine@FWS.GOV. Joe Fontaine (406)449-5225 x206 ASAP. Please try to attend- especially those that made suggestions to move the Conf. to a new location each year so more people from their agency/area could attend- you got your wish and the ball is in your court! Joe will be contacting potential speakers to get their commitment in the next month or so.

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 ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV