Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 2/25/05

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 2/18 to 2/25, 2005

Monitoring

NEW WEB ADDRESS- The 2005 annual wolf report [covering all 2004] can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/ in March. 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. Dr. Diane Boyd completed it on the 25th & great job Diane! We will not be mailing hard copies of the report out as we have done in past years, unless we have specific requests. It should be distributed electronically to all our email addresses in the next week.

On the 22nd an uncollared gray wolf was struck by a vehicle and killed just outside of Lower Stanley, ID. IDFG Conservation Officer G. Gadwa confirmed cause of death and collected the carcass. This is the territory of the Galena pack, although it is not known if this wolf was a member of that group.

On the 23rd & 24th, telemetry flights by MTFWP in NW MT revealed- Candy Mnt- S. Fork Yaak River, 5-6 gray. Fish Trap- Davis Creek, 4 gray 5 black, 9 total. Kintal- Kishenehn Creek, 4 gray, 2 black. Lazy Creek- Lazy Creek, 4 gray. Ninemile- in Ninemile, 2 gray, 1 black on deer kill [4-5 were seen the next day by a Ninemile resident]. Whitefish- Winona Ridge, 1 gray plus 5 black but total up to 8- chasing but not catching 2 different deer. Hog Heaven, Kootenai, Murphy Lake, and Wolf Prairie searched for but not located.

Control

The Battlefield pack was located on the 18th. Four wolves were observed near the Wisdom. MT airport. Two, including the collared female pup, had rope tails and appeared to have mange,. The pack was located running from a dead horse which was also being scavenged by coyotes. WS investigated on the 19th and confirmed that the older horse had been run downhill by wolves where it slipped on ice and was then killed and fed on by the wolves. The manager/care-taker reported that the wolves had run the horses a couple of times before but had not injured them. The pack killed several calves in 2004 and several pack members had been removed. WS conducted fixed-wing aerial control on the 24th and shot 2 uncollared wolves, both very mangy. This control action is completed unless further depredations are confirmed.

Lethal control for the Phantom Lake Pack (near Roscoe, MT) is ongoing. On Friday (Feb 18) Wildlife Services shot an adult gray male from the pack by aerial gunning. On Feb 21, WS trapped and killed an adult black female. Control actions will continue until the remaining animals [believed to be 2 subadults] are removed, or March 20th. The March 20th date would be extended if the pack is involved with further depredations.

An uncollared wolf was shot near Clayton, ID by WS Wolf Specialist Williamson on 2/22/05. A single wolf was suspected of killing a couple of calves on private property (where there have been numerous depredations over the years). This is the home range of the Buffalo Ridge pack, although it is not known if this wolf was a member of that group. The control action ended with the removal of this wolf.

Research

Nothing new to report.

Information and education and law enforcement

On the 16th, Bangs gave a talk to about 20 FWS employees at the Service’s Regional Office in Denver, CO.

During the week of the 14th, Smith gave a presentation to about 50 people who were visiting the Park as part of a National Geographic Society tour.

The new IDFG wolf webpage is now online. New information on 10j and how dog owners and livestock operators may alleviate some of the conflicts is included along with other pertinent links and information. http://fishandgame.idaho.gov./wildlife/wolves/

On the 22nd, Trapp (MTFWP) talked to 35 3rd graders in Red Lodge, MT.

Sime, Laudon, and Bradley [MTFWP] gave presentations in Missoula to the MFWP Citizens Advisory Committee on Feb. 23. Topics included state management, transition issues, and federal regulations. About 25 people attended.

The Service's weekly wolf report can be viewed 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