Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

 

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 6/27/03

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 6/21 to 6/27, 2003

Monitoring

NEW WEB ADDRESS- See the 2002 annual wolf report at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/ for maps of wolf pack locations and home ranges, tables of wolf numbers and depredations, litigation and funding issues, and summaries of scientific studies.

Routine trapping to radio-collar wolves as part of the monitoring program in Wyoming has been temporarily suspended. The summer tourist/back country season has started in earnest and there was a large increase in activity [hikers, horseman and dogs] in areas where trapping was being conducted. To avoid conflicts with dogs, trapping is being put on hold, at least in those areas.

The Nez Perce Tribe confirmed that B2 - the old Wildhorse alpha male - does have pups. This new pack is called the Castle Peak pack and is the second documented pack within the SNRA this summer. B107 - the Galena pack was the first documented pack within the SNRA this summer. Both packs now residing within the SNRA are first-year packs composed of an alpha pair and their litter of pups, Castle Peak with 4 and Galena with 5 pups.

Trapping efforts continue for the Spotted Bear Pack. Pups have been confirmed in the Hog Heaven, Fishtrap, and Whitefish packs and are suspected in the Kintla, Lazy Creek, Spotted Bear and Ninemile Packs. Efforts are still underway to locate the Great Divide pack and try and place a collar in the pack.

WE NEED HELP FROM COOPERATORS AND PUBLIC- We are currently into the trapping season, when we try to radio-collar wolves from previously unknown packs and beef up our collar coverage in known packs. 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.

Control

A rancher in central Idaho saw a wolf attacking his calf on private land and shot it. It turned out to be yearling wolf B131 from the Landmark pack. This is the area where fladry was tested last year and while it seemed to work short-term, the pack eventually ignored it and began to kill again cattle.

Herders watched as a lone wolf killed a 200lb calf in central Idaho, just north of Arco. They couldn’t react fast enough other than to drive the wolf off the carcass. WS confirmed the loss and traps were set near the calf’s carcass. If the wolf is captured, it will be killed.

Research

We were notified that papers for the Banff September World Wolf Congress accepted papers on N. Rocky Mountain wolf issues including: Non-Lethal methods to enhance wolf recovery and deter wolf/human conflict in Montana; Restoration of a gray wolf population in the northwestern United States; Approaches to Wolf Management and Conservation;

Information and education and law enforcement

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boise, Idaho filed a request for a clarification of the Judge’s order regarding its prohibition of "any" wolf control in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area on the 18th. The Service asked that non-lethal measurers be allowed by the court should there be a depredation. The Service assisted in preparing the request and appreciated DOJ’s efforts. The Judge signed the order on the 20th, and the Service received it on the 24th.

On the 25th, Fontaine retrieved the radio collar from B100 from the Big Hole River. The case is under investigation.

On the 26th Bangs took the aviation safety for supervisors class. The class was held in Great Falls, MT.

The Service's weekly wolf report can now also be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at  http://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