Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains
Mountain-Prairie Region

Gray Wolf Recovery Status Report

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 1/25/2008

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 1/18/08 to1/25/08

NEW WEB ADDRESS- The 2007 annual interagency wolf report [covering all 2006] can be viewed at westerngraywolf.fws.gov/annualreports.htm. The 2008 report will be available by March 1, 2008.

Monitoring

On Satuday evening January 19th, a wolf was reported caught in a coyote snare in the East Fork of the Bitterroot in MT.  MFWP warden and wolf staff responded and found a male gray pup from the East Fork pack with its right front leg entwined in the snare.  The rest of the pack was howling nearby and based on the condition of the animal it was not thought to have been in the snare very long.  The pup was collared and released.  Upon recovery the pup moved off quickly and seemed to be regaining feeling and use of the injured leg.  On a monitoring flight on the 21st the collar was on mortality.  Holder (MFWP) followed up on the morning of the 22nd and found the dead wolf.  It will be sent to the lab for necropsy.

Someone reported a pack of wolves feeding on a horse carcass south of Bellevue, Idaho.  IDFG staff investigated and determined it was a pack of coyotes.

On the 21st, Mack [NPT] was able to complete a monitoring flight in the Clearwater Region.  Some radiocollared wolves (Bimerick Meadow and Lochsa pack members) were located within other pack home ranges, so we're not sure if those wolves dispersed and joined the resident packs or whether pack territories have shifted for unknown reasons.  He detected a mortality signal on B339 (sole radiocollared wolf in the Spirit Ridge pack); NPT and FWS LE personnel will attempt to investigate early next week.

A radio-collared female gray wolf from Idaho’s Timberline Pack was located in Oregon. The wolf, a two- to three-year-old female identified as B-300, was collared northeast of Boise by Idaho F&G biologists in August 2006.  She’s was just found in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest near the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area.  Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists locate her after receiving reports of wolf activity in that area and then searching for missing wolf radio-collars from Idaho.  A single wolf was observed.  This is the fifth confirmed wolf to have been found in Oregon.  In March 1999, a radio-collared female was captured near John Day and returned to Idaho. In 2000, a collared wolf was found dead along Interstate 84 south of Baker City, and a wolf without a radio collar was found shot between Ukiah and Pendleton. Most recently, a mature female wolf was found dead from a gunshot wound in Union County in July 2007. All four previous wolves were also from Idaho.

Control

On the 21st, MT WS confirmed that wolves had killed 2 sheep (1 bred ewe and 1 buck) and had injured a steer calf on private property near Hall, MT.  The calf will likely not survive.  The Flint pack is believed involved and tracks of multiple wolves were present.  MFWP documented this new group of wolves not far from this area earlier in the summer but efforts to collar the pack was unsuccessful and few reports came in during the hunting season.  Due to the cold temperatures, trapping to collar and release is not feasible at this time.  MFWP authorized WS to remove up to 2 wolves close to the depredation site and issued a shoot-on-site permit to the landowner for their private property.  The landowner will start calving in the same area in a week and a half.  On the 22nd, WS killed 2 wolves on private land near the ranch.  Control is now finished and the landowner's SOS permit has been canceled.

MFWP and MT WS report that efforts to remove 2 wolves from the Monitor Mountain pack are done.  No wolves were killed and the 45 day control period has closed.  The Monitor pack has been closely followed from the ground and airt by personnel from both agencies for the last 2 weeks.  On the 15th, 16th, and 23rd, the Monitor Mountain pack was found traveling with another wolf that had been captured in a depredation response east of Lincoln, MT (Lincoln area NW254F).  Visuals were obtained on each of the 3 days and indicate a total of 6 wolves.  The group has been located near livestock on private land on several occasions, but no conflicts have been reported thus far.  Agency personnel will continue to monitor the situation closely.

On the 23rd, ID WS investigated a report that wolves killed a pair of ewes on private land south of Riggins, ID.  There was not enough evidence left to confirm the depredation, but ID WS did determine that it was "probable".

Research

On the 23rd YNP collared 6 wolves and on the 24th another 6.  The 12 were from 4 separate packs, including the Delta pack which is a difficult pack to keep radios in.  Collaring efforts will continue.

On the 24th, Jimenez and crew [WY FWS] collared 2 wolves from the Sunlight Basin Pack west of Cody, WY.  That are is part of a cooperative elk/livestock and wolf study by FWS. WYGF, FS, and Univ. of WY.  Winter collaring efforts will continue throughout NW Wyoming, depending upon favorable weather conditions.
 

Information and Education and Law Enforcement

10j rule released- On the 24th, the 10j rule modification was posted in the Federal Register reading room and it and the EA are available at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov .  The rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register Monday January 28 and it goes into effect 30 days after publication.  On the 24th, a news release was issued and cooperator and media conference calls were held.  Litigation was already promised in an NGO news release.      

JOB! - MFWP is recruiting to fill one of its wolf specialist positions.  Applications due by February 4. See http://statejobs.mt.gov/pls/mjs/MJS0110W.QueryView?P_EMPR_ID_SEQ=2082&P_JORD_APPL_SEQ=269 .  (FWP website under employment).

On the 23rd, Sime, Ross and Alt [MFWP] were invited to attend a brown-bag conversation with the Greater Yellowstone Coalition to discuss MFWP's tentative wolf season proposal and answer questions.  About 25 people attended.

MFWP has extended the public comment period on its proposal to establish a wolf hunting season contingent upon federal delisting to Feb. 13.  While MFWP is providing an additional 12 days to submit written comments on the wolf proposal, officials urged those interested in commenting to get their comments in as early as possible.  Details on all the tentative wolf-season proposal, and opportunity to comment, are available on the MFWP website at fwp.mt.gov.  Click "Montana Wolf Season."  Send comments by mail to: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Wildlife Division, Attn: Public Comment, PO Box 200701, Helena MT 59620-0701.  The MFWP Commission is still expected to make a decision on the tentative proposal February 20, 2008.

Jason Husseman [IDFG] gave a talk to 30 members of the Salmon, ID Rotary club on January 22 about wolf management.

On the 19th, Todd Grimm and Rick Williamson from ID WS spoke to approximately 150 people attending a meeting set up by the Washington Cattle Association in Colville, WA at the Stevens County Fairgrounds.

The Service's weekly wolf report can be viewed at 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

Last updated: March 11, 2010