Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 5/19/06

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 5/12 to 5/19, 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.

John Vore and Liz Bradley [MFWP] trapped and collared a yearling female from the Skalkaho pack (east of Hamilton) on the 17th. This is the first time this pack has been collared but based on a visual by John from the air this spring, MFWP estimates at least 8 wolves in this pack.

WY WS incidentally captured a wolf in a coyote trap south of Jackson, WY but it pulled out before it could be radio-collared and released. WY WS found additional wolf sign in the area and will trap for a few days to try to get a radio-collar on any wolves remaining in that vicinity.

Wolf monitoring from the ground and air continues in all three states to document which packs may have denned this year.

Control

A 725 lb. yearling steer was reported killed by wolves on the 16th and was confirmed by MT WS on the 17th on private land in the East Fork of the Bitterroot in SW MT. In addition, on the 17th, a black lab was killed on the same ranch within 75 yards of the house. This is an uncollared pack that is known to use the East Fork as well as Rye Creek areas and did not have a history of depredation. MT WS is currently trapping to try to radio-collar a member of this pack and the situation will continue to be monitored closely. The landowner was informed of his legal options under the various provisions of the 2005 10j rule.

A llama was confirmed killed by wolves on private property in the Ninemile Valley by MT WS on the 18th. The owner is moving his other llamas out of the Ninemile in the next 5 days so no action will be taken at this time. WS did not hear either of the two radio-collared yearling Ninemile pack wolves near the ranch where this occurred.

Research

Jimenez [WY FWS] attended ‘Home Range and Animal Movements: a Workshop’ at Idaho state univ., Pocatello, ID on the 15th and 16th. The training will assist in GIS analysis regarding wolf/elk relationships on Wyoming elk feed-grounds and other wolf location data.

Information and Education and Law Enforcement

IDFG hired Carter Niemeyer [FWS retired] and Paul Frame [past FWS seasonal biologist] to assist with its wolf trapping and radio-collaring program in Idaho this summer. Both are highly skilled and experienced and are great additions to the IDGF wolf team.

Dr. Doug Smith [NPS] was in UCLA on the 18th to meet with Dr. Robert Wayne and colleagues to discuss the cooperative wolf genetics research that is being completed. Doug also will give 2 talks at the Univ. of CA- one to the Genetics/Evolution Dept. and another to a wildlife class.

On the 16th Trapp [MFWP] spoke to about 150 4th and 5th graders about wolves and management in Montana, as part of the Stillwater County Conservation Day. On the 17th, he spoke to about 120 4th and 5th graders as part of the Carbon County Conservation Day.

On the 18th, Sime and Alt [MFWP] met with the Montana Environmental Quality Committee, a MT legislative committee, in Helena to discuss wolf monitoring and management and MFWP wolf program funding.

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