Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 3/12/04

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 3/13-3/26, 2004

Monitoring

NEW WEB ADDRESS- The 2003 annual wolf report was posted this week. It can be accessed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/ and has maps of wolf pack locations and home ranges, tables of wolf numbers and depredations, litigation and funding issues, and summaries of scientific studies.

B172's collar (which has been on mortality for some time) was retreived by WS and turned over to FWS.

Red Rocks National Wildlife Refuge personnel confirmed the presence of two wolves, (black and gray) on the refuge. The pair was observed on the 25th close to refuge headquarters. This is probably a newly establishing pair. The refuge has offered to help keep track of their presence. A big thanks to all of you.

Control

On March 16th, Asher, Ross and WS confirmed the presence of 2 wolves in the Madison Valley. An effort is being made to radio collar one of the wolves but all control has been completed.

WS confirmed a wolf killed calf just south of Roscoe, Montana. Traps were set but the wolves never returned and the traps were later removed.. On the 21st, WS confirmed a wolf killed ewe about 10 miles away from where the calf was killed. This is the same producer that lost some sheep during the summer of 2003. Traps were set to try and radio collar and release a wolf on site to try and determine if this a pack, newly establishing pair or just dispersers.

On the 19th, a producer in the Bitterroot Valley near Sula observed a wolf chasing his cattle when he was checking on the calving. This is close to the Sapphire pack territory. WS is trapping to try and place a radio collar in the pack. Thanks for the help WS.

Another calf depredation was confirmed by Idaho WS near Hammett, Idaho, on March 18. The USFWS authorized WS to capture and collar a wolf near the depredation site. Wolves involved in future depredations in this area will be removed. Two wolves were killed by WS on March 5 on a neighboring ranch after depredating on a cow and two calves.

Research

Nothing new to report.

Information and education and law enforcement

Niemeyer (USFWS) and Williamson (WS) attended an Oregon Wolf Advisory Committee meeting on March 19 in Bend, Oregon at the Committee's request. They presented information regarding Wolf Interactions with Domestic Animals and discussed Wolf-Human Interactions. Both presenters fielded questions from the Committee after the presentations.

Sime, FWP and Fontaine gave presentations to 8 graduate school candidates from Antioch New England Graduate School, Keene , NH on the 19th . The course is Wolves and the Yellowstone Ecosystem taught by Professor Meade Cadot. The group had just returned from viewing wolves and grizzly bears in the Park and had met with several biologists. On the 22nd they met with Asher to help her with any management activities and talk about wolf management. Two years ago she had the class help her remove a cow carcass to keep it from attracting the wolves. This year the students got off easy since she had no ongoing field activities that they could help with..

The state of Idaho completed its wolf management training this week. Carter Niemeyer, Curt Mack, Rick Williamson, Jeff Allen (Govs. office), Wildlife Services, Jon Heggen, and Steve Nadeau from Idaho Fish and Game travelled to four areas of the state and conducted training for about 300 Fish and Game Staff. Training included expectations and roles, coordination with cooperating agencies, depredation protocol, wolf location and activity, law enforcement protocol, and other training issues and needs. The state will be transitioning into statewide wolf management over the summer in cooperation with other state, federal and tribal agencies.

JOBS- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seasonal wolf biologist positions will be advertised starting Wednesday March 10 and will close March 23rd. The FWS intends to hire 4 GS-7 seasonal wolf biologist positions [Cody and Jackson, WY and Kalispell and Missoula, MT] for this summer’s field season. If applicants want to be considered for all four locations they must submit an application for each location. See www.usajobs.opm.gov DEU6-04-26 thru 29 for details and to apply.

On the 3rd, Secretary of the Interior Norton announced a proposal to give Tribes and Idaho and Montana more authority to manage wolf populations in their reservations and states, consistent with the requirements of the Endangered Species Act. "Wolf populations now far exceed their recovery goals under the Act in the northern Rocky Mountains, and Idaho and Montana have both crafted responsible wolf management plans for their states," Norton said. "Although we are unable at this time to continue with the process to delist the wolf population in the region because we do not have approved plans for all three states, we believe that it is appropriate for us to pursue as much local management for this recovered wolf population as we can." The proposed experimental population 10j amendment was published in the Federal Register this week. Comments will be accepted for 60 days beginning March 9th. Comments should be directed to the following address: USFWS, Western Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, 100 N. Park, #320, Helena, MT 59601 or see westerngraywolf@fws.gov for details.

The Nez Perce Tribe is seeking volunteers to assist on the Idaho Gray Wolf Recovery Project for the 2004 field season. This is a great opportunity to gain valuable field experience while working in the rugged and beautiful backcountry of Idaho. Applications must be received at Gray Wolf Recovery Project office no sooner than March 1 and no later March 31, 2004. How to Apply: Submit a cover letter expressing interest in the Project, and resume detailing educational and employment backgrounds, along with the name and contact information of 3 work-related references. Send application materials to: Nez Perce Tribe Gray Wolf Recovery Project, Attn: Volunteer Program, P.O. Box 1922, McCall, ID 83638.

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