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 Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From:               Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 10/27/06

Subject:            Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 11/06/2006 to 11/10/2006

 NEW WEB ADDRESS- The 2006 annual interagency wolf report [covering all 2005] can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov/annualreports.html.  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 information.

 Monitoring

MFWP Laudon opened a trapline in Glacier National Park for a few days until the weather turned bad and the line was closed.  A wolf traveled through the trapline, but was not caught.
 
On the 9th, MFWP Bradley was contacted by a trapper who incidentally caught a wolf on private land near Helmville.  Bradley was able to collar an adult male wolf.  This took place in an area where we have received previous reports from landowners, the BLM, and the public. 
 
MFWP wants to acknowledge all of our volunteers (James Nowak, Alan Whitehead, Janine Payne, Kris Boyd, Stephanie Bergh, Kari Holder, and Mike Cooper) and our two seasonal employees (Jonathon Derbridge and Ty Smucker) for their dedication and professional-caliber contributions this field season.  All told, the volunteers donated over 3000 hours between May and September (equivalent of one and a half full time employees) towards wolf monitoring and trapping efforts in Montana.  Thanks!

 

Control

On the 9th ID WS confirmed that wolves killed a calf on state (Idaho Department of Lands) property east of Cascade, ID. IDFG authorized the removal of two wolves.

On the 4th, MT WS confirmed a calf was killed on private land near Avon, MT.  This was the third confirmed depredation by the Spotted Dog pack since February 2006.  This pack lives nearly entirely on private land and at least nine wolves remained after the last incremental lethal control efforts in September.  Five wolves were killed on the 6th; 3-5 wolves remain.  Thanks to MT WS for a quick response and good coordination.
 
On the 9th, MT WS confirmed a calf was killed by the Battlefield pack on private land in the Big Hole drainage.  FWP authorized lethal control for 2 wolves and issued a shoot on sight permit to the landowner.
 
MFWP will be sending samples of the large wolf or wolf-like hybrid killed on the 2nd to the USFWS Lab in Ashland and to UCLA for testing.  Results will not be available for a few months. 

 Information, Education and Law Enforcement

On the 8th, Jim Holyan spoke to approximately 55 5th-6th graders from Russell Elementary School (Moscow, ID) at the McCall Outdoor School.

The Idaho/Nez Perce Tribe Wolf Policy Group met for the first time in Lewiston on the 31st to review statewide wolf status and policy.  Committee members include: Cal Groen and Alex Irby IDFG (Alex was not in attendance), Jim Caswell (Idaho Governor’s Office), Cliff Hansen (Custer County Commissioner), and from the Nez Perce Tribe Executive Committee; Joel Moffet, Larry Green, Brooklyn Baptiste, and Gary Green.  Steve Nadeau and Curt Mack gave presentations on wolf status, livestock conflicts, and other wolf projects and proposals.  Fourteen people were present.
 
On the 2nd, IDFG Commission met and discussed the wolf management proposal in the Lolo Elk Zone of the Clearwater Region.  Jim Unsworth, wildlife bureau chief, gave an update on research data being collected in the Lolo Zone.  Wolves were believed to be the primary cause of mortality to yearling and female elk.  The commission told IDFG to update the wolf control proposal with the latest data on mortality and resubmit it to the USFWS in the spring.  The USFWS has informed IDFG that while the proposal is scientifically and procedurally adequate, it does not meet the 10j criteria that wolves were the primary cause of the elk population decline.  Unsworth, the Director, and the Commission indicated they believed the best solution would be to de-list wolves and manage them through regulated hunting.  IDFG will develop a hunting management plan through the winter in anticipation that delisting will be proposed soon. 

 Research

Curt Mack and Holyan met with Dave Ausband (University of MT) to review and finalize the wolf monitoring protocols study plan on the 9th. 

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


Contact Us:  WesternGrayWolf@fws.gov

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