Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 6/25/04

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 6/18 to 6/25, 2004

Monitoring

NEW WEB ADDRESS- The 2003 annual wolf report is at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/ . It 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 Yellowstone #293 female wolf for the Swan Lake pack that was found dead along I-70 west of Denver, apparently walked there. The preliminary necropsy report from the Service’s Clark Bavin National Fish and Wildlife Forensics lab indicated the 2-year-old grey yearling female had deer in her stomach, and her injuries were consistent with a vehicle collision as causing her death. There were no signs of shooting or poisoning. She dispersed about 420 miles straight line distance from her last location. A final necropsy report is pending so the investigation is still open but all indications are she dispersed there on her own and was hit by a vehicle.

Field crews saw the Washakie pack’s pup’s at their usual den. There are 5 pups, 3 black and 2 gray and 6 or so adults left in the pack.

Val Asher and Mike Ross [MT FWP] retrieved Sentinel wolf 324F on mortality since last fall’s big game hunting season. Cause of death uncertain/under investigation but illegal killing is likely given the date of her death.

Paul Frame caught an adult 98-pound male in the Kootenai pack on the 22nd. The wolf had previously broken its front left leg. It had completely healed with only a lump in the bone to indicate it had been broken. Paul said it was the toughest wolf on the planet to catch and that even Niemeyer would have had a difficult time catching it. Paul is now trapping to place a collar in the Murphy Lake pack. Way to go Paul.

Jack Bucklin and Diane Boyd were trapping for the Kintla pack with no success. Apparently the pack was in the vicinity but traveling on the trails not the road. Traps were removed on Monday the 21st. Jack is now searching for the Fish Creek pack to locate and try to place another collar in that pack. Diane is headed to the Big Hole on the 28th to try and place a radio collar in the Battlefield pack. Contact with the Battlefield pack was lost last year when the alpha female’s radio collar was retrieved from the Big Hole River. Graham McDougal, WS, reported that a friend of his saw 6 pups and heard an adult close to where they were a few years ago at this time of the year. Sightings are extremely helpful as demonstrated here. So PLEASE, pass on any wolf sightings as quickly as possible.

Jeff Darrah, MT FWP Warden, received a call from the 911 dispatcher at 1:00 a.m. the 24th about a wolf that had been struck by a vehicle just west of the Bearmouth interchange on I-90 [MM 137]. He retrieved the carcass of a gray 80 pound uncollared yearling male. There was nothing to salvage from the carcass but a DNA sample that will be sent to the Ashland Forensic’s Lab. Great Job!

Agent Branzell investigated a possible road killed wolf near August on the 22nd. It turned out to be a dog. A number of these road killed sightings turn out to be dogs but we try to look just in case. Rick has checked a number of these. Thanks Rick.

Niemeyer and volunteer Doug Noel with the Nez Perce Tribe captured and radio-collared three wolves in the Florence wolf pack east of Riggins, Idaho, June 25-27. Two of the wolves were subadult males and the third was a yearling male.

Control

On the 21st, WS trapped an uncollared yearling male wolf from the Washakie pack on private land near where the last calf depredation occurred. The trapped wolf wasn’t found until the next day and it had died in the trap. On the 24rd WS called in and shot the Washakie alpha male from the ground. They will attempt to lethally remove 2 more pack members by gunning from fixed winged aircraft or trapping in the next 2 weeks. The Service had requested WS to remove 4-5 pack members because of chronic cattle depredations in that area.

WS investigated reported possible wolf-caused damage in the Riverton, WY area. Two calves and a cow had died. The investigation showed one had been struck by a vehicle and the other 2 had died of Larkspur poisoning.

Research

John and Mary Theberge at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada have a book out called

The Wolves of Algonquin Park: A 12 Year Ecological Study. You can order it [$23.50 Canadian or $20 US] from Kate Evans, Univ. of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: email: bkevans@fes.uwaterloo.ca phone: 519 885 1211 Ext 3278, fax: 519 746 0658

Information and education and law enforcement

JOBS!! Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Wolf Position Openings- Position #45803(Kalispell) #45804 (Dillon) #45805 (Big Timber/Columbus)-Open Recruitment - Wildlife Management Specialists [Wolf] (3 positions)/Wildlife Division/Professional Pay Band / $27,666 (entry) $34,583 (market)/ year/CLOSING DATE: July 23, 2004. New positions. The position announcement and the Montana application can be found on the Internet at www.discoveringmontana.com or http://www.discoveringmontana.com (working & living here - employment opportunities) or contact the Human Resources Bureau in Helena at 444-5653.

 

MORE JOBS!!- Wolf Recovery Coordinator for the Southwestern Distinct Population Segment. The following position is now open through the USA Jobs website, please click on the link below to view/print the full vacancy announcement:

http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/getjob.asp?JobID=22721629&AVSDM=2004%2D06%2D23+00%3A01%3A00&Logo=0&col=dltc&cy=&brd=3876&lid=316&fn=&q= Wildlife Biologist (Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator) GS-0486-12/13, ESFO, Albuquerque, NM, Permenent Full Time. Opens: 6/23/04 Closes: 07/08/04

On the 23rd, Ross and Asher attended a Predator Conservation Alliance Range Rider meeting with Madison Valley Ranchlands group. FS and other FWP personnel also attended.

Bangs conducted an interview with a TV environmental news and documentary program [NBC/Independent] on the 22nd. The subject was about the status of wolf recovery, delisting, and the FWS rejection of Wyoming’s state wolf management plan.

Doug Smith gave a talk to the general public at Madison Junction in Yellowstone National Park, about 50 people attended the Amphitheater talk, June 22. On June 23 he gave a talk to about 15 guests at the Silver Tip Ranch.

The Nez Perce Tribe's 2003 Annual Report is now available on the Tribe's website: www.nezperce.org. Click on Departments and then navigate to the Natural Resources section, followed by Wildlife Program.

Bart O’Gara Memorial- The University of Montana established this fund to support graduate student research on big game. Dr. O’Gara was the Unit Leader for the Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit. He was the team leader for the recovery team that developed the Service’s 1987 wolf recovery plan and as such laid the ground work for successful wolf restoration and the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park as experimental populations. Bart contributed in many ways, including donating deer he had to shoot as part of a research project, to feed the famous orphaned Ninemile wolf pups in 1990. To learn more about his well lived life see- ‘A Phenomenal Run’ in Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2003, Vol 31:916-919. For further information or to contribute contact, Bart O’Gara, UM Foundation, P.O. Box 7159, Missoula, MT 59807-7159 or contact Dr. Dan Pletscher at pletsch@forestry.umt.edu or call

COURSE ANNOUNCEMENT: Wildlife handling and chemical immobilization for wildlife professionals and researchers (includes hands-on wolf lab). November 9, 10 & 11, 2004. Led by Mark Johnson, DVM of Global Wildlife Resources, Inc. Hosted by Wolf Haven International

Location: 3111 Offut Lake Road, Tenino, Washington 98589 For additional information and registration, please contact Julie Palmquist, Wolf Haven International Communications Director at julie@wolfhaven.org or (360) 264-4695.

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. Announcements of various wolf-related information or opportunities is absolutely not an endorsement by the Service as to their worth or accuracy. Please distribute as you see fit.

Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 x204 or ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV