Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 3/10/06

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 3/03 to 3/10, 2006

Monitoring

NEW WEB ADDRESS- The 2006 annual interagency wolf report [covering all 2005] can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/annualreports.htm. It has maps of wolf pack locations and home ranges, tables of wolf numbers and depredations, discussions of litigation and funding issues, summaries of scientific studies, an extensive bibliography, and additional informational websites. More information can also be viewed at http://fwp.mt.gov/wildthings/wolf/default.html .

On March 20 SW007M (with the dead GPS collar) was located during the Madison elk capture in SW MT. Atkinson [MFWP] was able to dart him and refitted him with another standard collar. The wolf was in excellent condition, and had no skin disease. Blood was collected for analysis.

Control

On the 8th an Anatolian Shepard in the Ninemile Drainage got into it with two black wolves at about 7:15 A.M. just south of a hay shed. The dog came when called but had blood dripping from a major wound. He dog had a severe wound to the left shoulder by the neck and in the rump near the anal area and was taken to the veterinarian right away. The dog had a total of 7 puncture wounds including the two open wounds. The rancher believed that his spiked leather collar [a dozen were purchased from Spain on a trial basis], which Joe Fontaine [FWS] sent the first time the dog had a wolf encounter 3-4 years ago, is more than likely what saved him for that was the only critical area on his body with no puncture wounds.

Research

Yellowstone National Park continues with their annual late winter wolf predation study for the month of March. Volunteers are following wolf packs in the northern range daily to determine prey selection and kill rates. Smith said it appears to be a very strange year. Elk are in horrible condition and they are starting to see lots of winter-kill elk. Wolf kills rates appear near normal but the bone marrow condition of wolf-killed elk appear near starvation levels. The Park has normal snow depth but has had freezing thawing conditions that hardened snow making it tough for the wind to blow it off ridges or for elk to dig through it.

Information and Education and Law Enforcement

Holyan [NTP] gave a presentation to the Whitman County (Wash.) Sportsmen's Association on the 4th at their annual Wild Game Dinner, about 40 people attended.

Bangs [FWS] gave the lead-off talk to about 300 attendees at the 22nd Vertebrate Pest Conference in Berkeley, CA on the 7th. The Conference is held every two years and focuses on control of wildlife damage throughout the world. The initial plenary session dealt with damage and management of wolves in the NRM and Mid-west, koalas and kangaroos, and elephants. Nearly 100 papers were presented. Proceedings will be published in 8-10 months.

Smith [NPS] gave presentations to about 50 R-1 Forest Service District Rangers in Chico on the 8th, and 25 members of the International Wolf Center that were touring with Dr. L. David Mech on the 7th.

Steve Nadeau [IDFG] gave a presentation to about 35 members of the Northwest Section of the Wildlife Society entitled State Management of Wolves: status of populations and proposals on the 8th. Michael Lucid also gave a presentation to the same group entitled "an online reporting system for wolf sightings". Mack and Holyan [NTP] also attended the Idaho Chapter of the Wildlife Society annual conference in Boise. Mack presented "Developing Long-term Monitoring Protocols for Wolves in Idaho," and Holyan was presenter of "Ten Years of Wolf Recovery- a Conservation Success" poster.

On the 7th, MFWP Sime gave a presentation at Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park about wolves, lions, and bears. About 10 people attended. On the 8th, Sime spent the afternoon with graduate students taking a Human Dimensions of Fish and Wildlife Management seminar. Seven participated.

On the 10th, the Montana Livestock Loss Reduction and Mitigation Program working group met in Helena. They are working on program details of a Montana-based reimbursement program for wolf-caused livestock losses. MFWP Sime 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