Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 11/15/02

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 11/08 to 11/15, 2002

Monitoring

NEW WEB ADDRESS- See WesternGrayWolf.fws.gov/annualreports.htm  for maps of wolf pack locations and home ranges, tables of wolf numbers and depredations, and summaries of scientific studies.

During the week a fur trapper caught 2 pups from the Great Divide pack. He was able to restrain the pups and release them unharmed. This has happened at least two times in other areas. In those areas the trapper was able to contact someone and the wolves were radio collared before they were released

On the 9th several of the packs were located near Lolo pass. During the flight B110 a dispersing wolf from Idaho was heard in the vicinity but could not be precisely located. All the packs appeared to be in their normal territories. Wolves in the Ninemile were also located and 4-5 were seen from the air in the upper portion of the valley.

The Service is once again asking for help from big game hunters in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming during the big-game hunting season. Please report any sightings of wolf activity to the nearest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state Fish and Game Agency, Forest Service, BLM, Tribal, or USDA Wildlife Services office. We thank everyone for their cooperation.

Control

Wolf control on private land next to Grand Teton National Park has been suspended. No wolves were taken. Nearly 18 inches of snow blanketed the area and no fresh wolf sign has been seen so WS pulled their traps and snares. Once snow hits the Teton pack usually heads to the Gros Ventre Valley where elk are abundant and being fed on the state elk feed grounds.

Research

The annual early winter intensive wolf predation study began in Yellowstone National Park. The study starts on November 15 and runs through December 15 each year. Wolves are tracked daily from the ground and air to determine kill rates. Wolves are also surveyed for 30 days during March to determine later winter wolf kill rates.

Information and education and law enforcement

On the 14th, Fontaine gave a talk to about 40 members of the Missoula Kiwanis Club.

On the 13th, Bangs talked with a dozen members of the Sierra Club from Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. They met in Bozeman, MT to develop their strategic plan and vision for wolf restoration. Bangs gave them an overview of the status of wolf restoration, reclassification, and potential delisting.

Wyoming released its state wolf management plan for public comment and began a series of public meetings throughout Wyoming about the plan. Contact Wyoming Game and Fish for further information at 307-777-4600 or at wgfwolf@wgf.state.wy.us

Call for papers: Papers are now being accepted for the 2003 North American Interagency Wolf Conference, April 8 - 10, 2003 at Chico Hot Springs, Pray, MT. Please submit a one page single spaced abstract which includes your full contact information, affiliations, and authors, by email to Joseph Fontaine at Joseph_Fontaine@fws.gov Topics include, but are not limited to, wolf biology and conservation, conflict management, predator and prey relationships, law enforcement, forensics, population status, state wolf management planning, national wolf reclassification and delisting, ethics, environmental education, and public outreach. Please submit a digital picture related to your research or topic to include in the agenda and on the website. We can also scan images sent by mail. Registration for the conference will begin November 1, 2002 and you may contact Suzanne Laverty at SLaverty@defenders.org for details.

The Service's weekly wolf report can now also be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at WesternGrayWolf.fws.gov  This report is government public property and can be used for any purpose. Please distribute as you see fit.

Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 x204 or ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV