Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 11/21/03

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Weeks of 11/14 to 11/21, 2003

Everyone have a great Thanksgiving.!

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 fund issues, and summaries of scientific studies.

Yellowstone Park biologists picked a dead uncollared yearling male wolf on the 15th. It had been killed by the Leopold pack.

Control

A pair of wolves near Red Lodge, MT apparently pushed a group of horses through a fence earlier this month, and a colt broke its neck. The remaining horses were widely scattered but all were recovered uninjured. Fresh wolf tracks were on the road next to the pasture. This ranch had cattle depredations in the past that ultimately lead to the removal of the Red Lodge pack. If WS is in the area and catches 1-2 wolves on the property they will lethally removal them.

Research

Yellowstone National Park started their early winter study [Nov 15- Dec 15] to determine wolf predation rates. The visiting scholar is Dr. Francisco Fonseca, from the Univ. Of Lisbon, Portugal.

Jessica Montag, Michael Patterson, and Bethany Sutton [Wildlife Biology Program, School of Forestry, Univ. of Montana] have published their final project report 2003 "Political and Social Viability of Predator Compensation Programs in the West". It is available at http://www.forestry.umt.edu/pcrp/

Information and education and law enforcement

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking information about two illegally killed wolves that were found about five miles southwest of Pierce, Idaho in Clearwater County. Rewards of $5,000 per wolf are being offered for information leading to an arrest or conviction in the case. The wolves, a radio-collared female known as B-152, and an uncollared male, appear to have been shot, according to investigators. They were members of the Hemlock Ridge pack, which contains about eight animals. The carcasses were discovered November 16 by hunters, one along an ATV trail, and one along a road in the Brown’s Creek/Space Creek area. The last aerial flight showing that B-152 was alive occurred on November 13. She had been located 11 times by plane since being radio-collared in June by Nez Perce Tribe biologists. The killing of an animal protected under the Endangered Species Act is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and one year in jail. Service law enforcement officials ask that anyone with information about this case please contact them at (208) 378-5333. Callers may request to remain anonymous.

Bangs was a speaker on wolves at a evening presentation for a fund-raiser for the Helena Education Association. It was a night of "Great Conversations". Donors/diners could chose one of over 30 tables [8 people] for a meal and conversation with ‘experts’ about a wide range of topics. Over 300 people attended the fun event.

Jimenez spoke to a wildlife biology class and lab at Rexburg, ID BYU on the 19th. About 30 students attended.

Fontaine met MT FW&P biologist Ross and a local member of the Collaborative Land Stewardship program in Ennis, MT to discuss development of a "How to co-exist with wolves" pamphlet.

Bangs was scheduled to talk about the state plan peer review process and litigation at an informational wolf meeting in Pinedale, WY on the 22nd. It is being hosted by the WY Farm Bureau, Green River Grazing Assoc. and others, but a winter storm hit on the morning of the 21st and he had to cancel because of highway conditions. John Emmerich was also going to attend.

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. 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 .

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