Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 11/07/03

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Weeks of 10/31 to 11/07, 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.

Correction- Wolf #207 from the Rose Creek pack was recovered on OCT. 23rd. It and the other picked up that week were suspected to have been killed by other wolves.

Two of 6 radioed members of the Nez Perce pack were found in the Park in their normal territory. A 7-year-old grey male wolf from Nez Perce pack that recently joined with the Green River female and her one surviving pup. He is the last of the 10 wolf pups that was relocated from Augusta, MT to Yellowstone in 1996 because of chronic livestock depredations. He has lived in the Park pretty much ever since, hopefully he will fare better then her other ‘boyfriends’.

Fish Wildlife & Parks got a number of wolf reports at their game check stations, and we were able to verify tracks of two wolves SE of Eureka, and tracks of one wolf in the Swan (though reliable reports say there are at least 3 wolves in the Swan). Meier checked out two reports of dead wolves. One near Stryker turned out to be a dog, and he was unable to find the one reported in the Thompson River. A mortality signal was detected from one of the Lazy Creek wolves on the 7th.

Control

We have been getting angry e-mails over the suspicion that we had killed the Green River pack pups. While we did not deliberately remove any pups, we just learned that the latest wolf with the Green River female that was removed because of continued livestock depredations was a large male pup. That wolf was suspected of being another dispersing adult male and his age was not known until his carcass was examined. So this summer 2 males and one male pup were killed in agency control actions. The fate of the pack’s other pups is unknown but all but one apparently died during the summer from unknown causes. Only one of the original litter survived, so the pack will not qualify as a breeding pair in 2003.

Asher gave less-than-lethal munitions training to a ranch manger in the East Boulder [GYA, south of Big Timber, MT and in the Moccasin Lake/Mission Creek pack territory] on the 4th. She also spoke to the MT FW&P Big Timber biologist. He's had those wolves near his house, dog and horses.

Research

The Univ. of Chicago Press is taking pre-orders for the epic all-encompassing book "Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation" Edited by L. David Mech and Luigi Boitani. 2003. University of Chicago Press. You can order from the International Wolf Center by calling 1-800-359-9653 ext 21. They are available now.

Information and education and law enforcement

Curt Mack (Nez Perce Tribe) was in Lapwai all week for meetings/negotiations with Office of Species Conservation/ID Dept. of Fish and Game to work on a Memorandum of Agreement on the Tribe’s potential role in wolf "management" (monitoring, coordination) following delisting. Jim Hoylan attended 3 presentations by sophomore students at Eagle Academy in Eagle, ID on 11/3 pertaining to research the kids had done on the issues of wolves in ID. The Tribe has hired Barbara Trapp and Isaac Babcock, on 30-day appointments, to build and/or research and input data into 2 new databases we are compiling. One will incorporate most of the data we have collected, and the other is for livestock depredation. The Tribe will also be cooperating with WS and Liz Bradley [UM Grad. Student on livestock depredation issues] to help us fill in the gaps in our information.

The alpha female and a pup [11/9] from the Sentinel pack [GYA west of Yellowstone Park] were detected on mortality mode this week. LE is investigating.

2004 North American Interagency Wolf Conference Call for Papers

Papers are now being accepted for the 2004 North American Interagency Wolf Conference, April 6 - 8, 2004 at Chico Hot Springs, in Pray, Montana, northwest of Yellowstone National Park. This year’s theme is "Working Collaboratively Toward Long-Term Wolf Conservation." Past speakers include L. David Mech, Paul Paquet, Rolf Peterson, Doug Smith, and other leading wolf experts, forensics and law enforcement specialists, livestock conflict managers, and field researchers . The conference is sponsored by Yellowstone National Park, the Wolf Recovery Foundation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Nez Perce Tribe and Defenders of Wildlife. Please submit a single spaced abstract, up to 500 words, and include your full contact information, affiliations, and authors, by email to: Joseph Fontaine at Joseph_Fontaine@fws.gov . Conference registration will begin November 15, 2003 and you may contact Suzanne Stone, Rocky Mountain Field Representative, Defenders of Wildlife at Sstone@defenders.org or (208) 424-9385 for details. Lodging registration is open now. Please contact Chico Hot Springs Lodge, Pray, Montana, 1-800-468-9232 or (406) 333-4933 and request a "wolf conference" room reservation to receive our group rate. The room rate is $45/bed/day (or $35/bed/day for Montana state agency representatives with ID).

On the 5th, Bangs talked to the ‘Introduction to Wildlife Issues’ class at Univ. MT. in Missoula.. About 50 students attended. On the 6th, Bangs was interviewed in Helena for a MT State Univ. film grad. student’s project. Bangs and Williamson [ID-WS] were interviewed for the second of a 4-part Idaho Falls ABC outdoors piece on wolves in Dillon, MT and Challis, ID on the 7th.

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

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

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