Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 8/8/03

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 8/1 to 8/8, 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.

A new Idaho pack was discovered by Holly Akenson, Univ.of ID researcher and caretaker for the Taylor Ranch in Big Creek. We have suspected a pack of wolves in the Monumental Creek area for the past several years. Holly and some interns surveyed this area and discovered an active den with both evidence of adults and pups. This information was verified by Jim Holyan on a subsequent survey. No counts yet but they are now called the Monumental pack.

The Green river pack [WY] has 5 pups. They seem to be doing fine and no further livestock problems have been documented with wolves.

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

At least 2 ewes were killed on the 4th or 5th, and several lambs and ewes are missing from Forest Service grazing allotments near Pinedale, WY. Wildlife Services specialists confirmed wolf damage and when they howled they heard response from several adults and pups in the area. There are no known radioed wolves in that area. WS and the Service are trapping and will radio-collar and release any captured wolves on site to determine what is there and what control actions may be appropriate.

 

More sheep were reported killed by both grizzly bears and wolves on a Forest Service allotment just north of Yellowstone National Park. Wildlife Services has authorization to shoot one wolf if it is in the sheep band. It is a 20-mile ride into the area to confirm depredations.

Research

Nothing new to report.

Information and education and law enforcement

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has prepared a web page that has various links to state wolf management plans, information about wolf reclassification and delisting. It can be accessed at

http://midwest.fws.gov/wolf/fnl-rule/index.html.

On the 5th, Bangs, Nadeau {ID F&G], Sime {MFW&P], Moody {WY G&F] met in Missoula with representatives of the Safari Club Foundation and a half dozen others to brainstorm about the Safari Club International’s position "To advocate for scientific management of ungulates, large carnivores, and public hunting" and the potential for a broad-based cooperative "Carnivore Ungulate Management Initiative." The meeting was progressive, low key, and interesting. Afterward MT, ID, WY and FWS met briefly to discuss post-delisting wolf monitoring.

The final Wyoming Game and Fish wolf management plan is posted on their website http://gfi.state.wy.us The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved the plan on the 29th. The Service will look at the Idaho, Wyoming and Montana plans after they have been completed, probably early September, and at that time make the final determination whether they should be sent out for independent scientific peer review. Peer review is the next logical step in the process for the Service to determine if a delisting proposal is appropriate.

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