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 3/26-4/2, 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.

The necropsy report on Hog Heaven wolf 278, northwest Montana, indicated that it was emaciated and likely died of complications involving pneumonia. No evidence of trauma was observed. Apparently, the tooth wear and staining suggest that the wolf may have been much older than the 4-5 years of age that was originally estimated when it was first captured. A tooth will be sent into the lab for sectioning to determine the correct age.

A resident in the Ninemile Valley called to report that 1-2 wolf/hybrids were running loose in the valley. The hybrids were either dumped there or may have escaped from the owners. Apparently, a resident was trying to capture one of the animals and was licked on the hand indicating that it was definitely a pet. FWP and LE were contacted to make them aware of the situation. There have been no additional reports.

Hartman conducted a monitoring flight for packs in NW Montana on the 29th and 30th and located the Hog Heaven, Fish Trap, Murphy Lake, Whitefish, Kintla, Great Bear, and Red Shale in their normal home ranges.

Control

WS killed a wolf in the Big Hole Valley that had recently killed a calf. The wolf was thought to be the last member of the Fox Creek pack. No additional control will be conducted.

WS investigated a report on 3/7 of a wolf on a dead calf on private land near Polaris, MT in the Grasshopper Valley where the Fox Creek pack was removed. The young calf was confirmed aa a wolf kill by WS on the 8th. A lone wolf was responsible and WS was authorized to lethally remove it. It didn’t come back to the carcasses which was not consumed, apparently the rancher scared it off before it had a chance to feed. On the 30th WS lethally removed that lone wolf. No additional control will be conducted.

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 and fall of 2003. Traps were set to try and radio collar and release a wolf on site to try and determine if this is a pack, newly establishing pair or just dispersers. The producer was issued a shoot on sight permit for one wolf.

Three wolves were observed chasing cattle in Tom Miner Basin on the 27th and 28th. Ross and Asher put up fladry on the 29th and 30th. On the 2nd the producer saw one wolf outside of the pasture but no additional problems. The night of the 1st 3 wolves chased a herd of bison through a cattle guard in Cinnibar Basin. The producer has been issued non-lethal munitions and asked to harass the wolves as much as possible. The 3 wolves may be part of the Chief Joe or Swan Lake pack. The radio collared members of the Chief Joe pack were located last week in Taylor Fork and the Swan Lake pack was located in the park. In previous years, the Chief Joe pack attempted to den in Cinnibar Basin until we displaced them by plugging the dens prior to denning. This will be done again if they attempt to den in the area.

Another domestic dog was reported attacked by a pack of wolves in the Sunbeam, Idaho, area on April 1 according to an Idaho Department of Fish and Game official (IDFG). The owner euthanized the badly injured dog. A total of three dogs have reportedly died of injuries resulting from wolf attack in this vicinity. IDFG and Wildlife Services will investigate further to determine if any non-lethal measures will resolve the situation.

Research

Nothing new to report.

Information and education and law enforcement

Carolyn Sime, FWP, attended the unveiling of a full-bodied wolf mount at the Kootenai National Forest Supervisors Office in Libby on the 31st. This was an adult male that was hit and killed by a vehicle near Bull Lake in western Montana. Warden John Obst was instrumental in coordinating the effort.

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.

 

Regional Wildlife Biologist (Wolf)

Temporary Position

Location
Two positions, 1 Boise/Nampa, 1 Salmon

Salary
$16.59 an hour plus benefits;

Dates Needed
Begins May 2004, year-long, positions dependent upon federal funding

Responsibilities
REGIONAL WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST needed to implement Idaho’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. Positions will be responsible for conducting wolf monitoring, management, information and education, outreach, assist in monitoring impacts of wolves on ungulate populations and livestock operations, writing annual reports, helping to develop management strategies, analyzing data, and other wolf management duties including some supervision. Incumbents will be responsible for implementing wolf management activities statewide and extensive traveling will be required. Close coordination with Fish and Game and other agency personnel, interaction with sportsmen and livestock interests, and working with the public will be required. Although these are primarily wolf management positions, incumbents will be responsible for a variety of other duties, including conducting aerial big game surveys.

Qualifications/Skills Need
B.S. degree in wildlife management related field minimum; M.S. degree preferred. Knowledge and experience with a variety of computer software and statistical packages, including GIS Arcview, and Microsoft Office products, preferred. Interested applicants should be familiar with wolf and other big game biology and management, and predator-prey relationships. Knowledge and experience with a variety of big game species, and trapping and handling wolves is preferred. All applicants must be willing to travel statewide for extended periods, (car-) camp, hike 1-10 miles/day with a 50 lb pack, and have excellent vision, hearing, and a valid diver's license. Horse riding and packing, and/or using a variety of motorized travel including 4-wheelers, flying in a helicopter or fixed-wing in remote locations will be required. Incumbent needs to have excellent people skills, ability to communicate well in written and oral fashion, and desire to work with the public. Housing will be available at some locations (IDFG cabins) and a vehicle and other equipment will be provided.

To Apply
Screening process begins immediately. Please submit a resume, IDFG temporary application form, and names and telephone numbers of at least three references to Steve Nadeau, Statewide Large Carnivore Program Coordinator, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, P.O. Box 25, Boise, Idaho 83707 (PH: 208-287-2752; EM: snadeau@idfg.state.id.us ).

Application Deadline: 17 April 2004

MEXICAN GRAY WOLF RECOVERY PROGRAM

Looking for 2 volunteers, starting approximately May 1, 2004 for a 6 month commitment

Application Period: 4/1/04 - 4/15/04

Living Stipend: $15/day, housing provided

Location: Alpine, AZ

Major Duties: The volunteer will perform a variety of tasks in support of the reintroduction of the Mexican gray wolf to the Apache and Gila National Forests in east-central Arizona and west-central New Mexico. Duties may include monitoring of wolf locations, movements, and activities through radio-telemetry as well as back-country travel by backpacking, horseback riding, and mule packing. Camping for extended periods of time in remote areas to monitor wolves while in acclimation pens and post release may also be involved. Collection, processing, storing, and delivery of road-killed ungulates to the wolves while in acclimation pens and as supplementary food post release. May assist biologists with various wolf management and research activities such as capture and radio collaring of wolves, and monitoring of den and rendezvous site activity. Assists project biologists with distributing current wolf information to campers, hunters, and other persons using the recovery area. Volunteer will also assist project biologists with various office tasks such as data entry and equipment maintenance.

Qualifications: The applicant should be in excellent physical health. He/she must be able to work independently and with a team, often in remote areas under extreme environmental conditions. Applicants with or working towards a Bachelors degree in wildlife biology, experience with back-country map and compass use, remote back-country hiking and camping, radio telemetry, 4WD vehicles, and good communication skills are preferred.

E-mail, FAX, or mail a resume and cover letter with 3 references as soon as possible to:

Volunteer Position
Attn: Dan Stark
Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program
P.O. Box 856
Alpine, AZ 85920
FAX: 928-339-4218
dan_stark@fws.gov

COURSE ANNOUNCEMENT:

WILDLIFE HANDLING AND CHEMICAL IMMOBILIZATION

FOR RESEARCHERS AND MANAGERS

Gallatin County Fairgrounds, Bozeman, Montana

June 11-13, 2004

Global Wildlife Resources is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting wildlife professionals and is offering a three day wildlife handling course this spring in Bozeman, Montana. This is one of the most extensive chemical immobilization courses in North America and includes hand-on labs. It has been invaluable to state, federal, and tribal wildlife professionals, zoo caretakers, animal control officers, and students.

This unique training emphasizes professional and humane animal handling and covers practical techniques to maximize field success and human and animal safety. The course focuses on the needs of researchers and managers to understand the skills and equipment associated with wildlife capture, physical restraint, and chemical immobilization. The course also covers in detail each aspect of animal handling such a radio-collaring, weighing, sample collection and patient monitoring.

Course content includes:

Five-step Preparation for Field Operations * Legal Responsibilities * Professionalism

Drug Delivery Systems * Immobilizing Drugs * Patient Monitoring

Marking * Sampling * Veterinary Emergencies

Euthanasia * Human Safety * Ethical Issues

Honoring each animal through equipment and techniques

The course instructor is Dr. Mark Johnson of Global Wildlife Resources, Inc. in Bozeman, Montana. Dr. Johnson, former veterinarian of Yellowstone National Park, has participated nationwide in a wide range of wildlife handling field operations. He also teaches wildlife professionals and students nationally including those at several universities, national parks and at the USFWS National Conservation Training Center.

Each course will be limited to 25 participants. The course includes labs each day, course booklet, and Certificate of Training. The 3-day course fee is $400 before May 20 and $425 thereafter. Get reduced rates at the Hampton Inn (406.522.8000 by May 20, 2004.

GWR courses promote care, honor, and respect for each animal that is handled;

and are often a profound career experience for course participants.

To register: visit our website, print the registration form, and mail the form and registration fee to:

Global Wildlife Resources, Inc.

P.O. Box 10248, Bozeman MT 59719-0248

Office:(406) 586-4624

www.wildliferesources.org for course outline, testimonials, and additional information

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