Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 6/02/06

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 5/26 to 6/02, 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.

Corrections- 1) ID WS collared a wolf near Victor, ID last week with a new collar with GYA frequencies obtained from Jimenez [FWS]- the wolf was not previously collared by Jimenez.

2) Ross [MFWP] reported that a young wolf that had some cracked/stained enamel on its teeth when first captured this past winter [likely caused by distemper/fever as pup in 2005] was just recaptured. Its teeth were in much worse shape now, as many were cracked and broken.

Jason Husseman (IDFG) verified 8 pups (4 black, 4 gray) in the Hughes Creek pack near Salmon, ID. He and law enforcement picked up a GPS collar that had been deployed on a wolf in the Copper Basin pack a few weeks ago. The experimental collar had come off prematurely due to a malfunctioning drop-off mechanism.

Michael Lucid and Justin Barrett (IDFG) verified a new pack of wolves east of Featherville, ID on June 1. They verified 1 gray and 4 black pups and 2 adults. The new pack will be called the Big Water pack. Lucid will attempt to place a radio collar on one of its alpha wolves.

Isaac Babcock and Jim Holyan [NPT] captured and radio collared a wolf in the Wolf Fang pack in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness this week. This long-time documented pack has been uncollared for the past several years. The biologists are still in the back country.

On May 27, Curt Mack [NPT] scouted an areas southeast of Grangeville, ID for wolf activity. This effort was a follow-up from an earlier recent incident where a hounds man lost 2 dogs to wolves while chasing bears in the area. The status of wolves is unknown in this area. No evidence of denning or resident pack activity was found. Extremely wet whether made tracking difficult. Addition effort will be made to locate and radio collar wolves in this area.

On May 27, Tyler Hollow [NPT] captured and collared a wolf in the Eldorado pack. The sole previously radio collared wolf in this pack dispersed a month after its capture. This new collar will help biologist document the reproductive status of this pack.

 

Control

On the 26th Rost [MT WS] examined a horse that was thought to be injured by wolves, southwest of Big Timber, MT. The examination did not reveal any evidence of a wolf attack.

On the 30th, ID WS confirmed that a wolf had killed a 350 lb. calf on private land East of Grangeville, ID. This depredation site is about 7 miles NE of where 3 hounds were attacked by unknown wolves last week. A shot was fired at what was believed to be a wolf and it is under LE investigation.

On the 29th, ID WS confirmed that a calf had been injured on private land in the Stanley Basin. The calf is likely to survive. The livestock owner did not want traps set at this time. The rancher reported that he had shot at a wolf. It is under LE investigation.

On the 1st, ID WS confirmed that a single wolf killed a lamb on a private ranch near Mackay, ID. Traps were set with the intention of lethally removing one wolf.

On the 28th, WY WS confirmed that wolves from the Carter Mt. pack near Meeteetse, WY killed a calf on private land. A few days later a cow was found dead there but WS confirmed it was not killed by wolves. FWS authorized WS to remove 2 wolves and a male and a female, both yearlings, were killed on the 30th. One was called in and shot from the ground and the other was shot from fixed-wing aircraft. The landowner was offered a shoot-on-site permit but WS killed the 2 wolves that were to be removed before it was issued. The Carter Mt pack doesn’t have pups this year, as a result of control actions last year that removed the alpha female. Three-four wolves are left in the pack. If there are more depredations, more wolves will be removed.

WY WS flew the Washakie pack near Dubois, WY this week to remove 2 wolves but the pack wasn’t accessible and no wolves were taken. Control is ongoing.

Research

Nothing new to report.

Information and Education and Law Enforcement

On June 1, IDFG officer Hugo and USFWS agent Magone retrieved a radio collar from an Avery pack member in Slate Creek area of north Idaho. The incident is under investigation.

On May 31, Lucid [IDFG] gave a presentation to 30 US Forest Service employees at Fairfield, ID on wolf management, biology, and living with wolves.

On May 30, Mack [NPT] discussed wolf status, depredation and take protocols, and human safety issues with about 30 Nez Perce National Forest employees in preparation for summer field season.

The Service's weekly wolf report can be viewed at httpp://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