Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 11/12/04

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 11/05-11/12, 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.

B-214, the suspected alpha male of the Bear Valley/Landmark pack, was located on mortality mode during the 11/5/04 monitoring flight. His remains were retrieved by IDFG personnel Jason Husseman and Michael Lucid. An investigation is ongoing.

Control

On the 11th, WS conducted control on the Phantom pack, near Roscoe, MT. The black uncollared adult breeding female was killed but the 4 other pack members [one radioed] got away into the timber. Initially Bangs [opps!] mistakenly reported she was a sub-adult/pup. Some concerns were expressed from local residents and hunters about conducting control during the big game rifle season, displacement of elk, disruption of hunts, and etc. We are very sensitive to those concerns. The landowner involved had no hunters on their property at this time- but apparently there were hunters that heard or saw the operation from neighboring areas. The ranch were the wolves spend most of their time was issued a shoot-on-sight permit but were asked to avoid killing the only radioed wolf, if possible. We are monitoring the situation closely and will evaluate our control options after the hunting season ends on November 28th. Due to these same concerns we asked WS to postpone control on the Lone Bear pack until after the big game rifle season.

On the 2nd, WS investigated a 2nd cow that died on private property near Cody, Wyoming. WS concluded that wolves did not kill the cow. On the 10th, the same rancher reported a 3rd cow found dead on his property. Wolf tracks were seen in the area and it appeared that wolves had fed on the carcass. WS is investigating.

Research

Yellowstone National Park starts its annual 30-day early-winter "Wolf prey selection and predation rates" research on November 15 through December 15.

 

Information and education and law enforcement

On the 9th, Jimenez spoke to a Level I meeting of BLM, USFS, USFWS, and NPS personnel in Jackson, WY. He updated folks on the status of wolf recovery in Wyoming and discussed current wolf issues and concerns with land managers.

Joe Fontaine, is on a 2-month detail to Erie National Wildlife Refuge in PA. He traveled to DC and gave a presentation on the 3rd to the Arlington Office, about 35 people in attendance including 7 others that accessed via the internet.

On the 9th Fontaine gave a presentation to the Region 5, Regional Office, in Hadley, MA. About 40 people attended including the Regional Director, head of refuges-LE, realty and others. Fontaine was followed by a presentation from a grad student from Portugal who gave an overview of wolves in Europe.

All the MT FWP wolf program personnel officially met for the first time on the 9th. They discussed some transition issues, but mainly focused on MT FWP's goals and program direction. MT FWP's focus will be wolf monitoring, working with landowners, and public outreach.

Dr. John R. Morgart, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), has been selected as the coordinator of the high-profile Mexican gray wolf recovery program. The Service began reintroducing wolves into southwestern New Mexico and eastern Arizona in 1998 under an experimental and non-essential population designation, allowed under the Endangered Species Act. There are now approximately 50 wolves in the wild. Welcome and congratulations John!

The Service's weekly wolf report can now also be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at  and 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