Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains
Mountain-Prairie Region

Gray Wolf Recovery Status Report

From:               Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 2/01/2008

Subject:            Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 1/25/08 to 2/01/08

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

Monitoring

To assist with MFWP wolf monitoring efforts, MT WS darted and radio-collared a large adult male wolf in the Madison Valley, MT on the 31st, while doing coyote work in that area.  Further monitoring will be needed to see if it is associated with a pack as it was traveling alone at the time of capture.

Control

On the 24th, MFWP responded to a call of a sick wolf hanging out near a livestock feedlot in Paradise Valley, MT.  The wolf was bedded in a stackyard and was extremely mangy. It was euthanized and found to be a disperser from Yellowstone Park’s Leopold pack.

On the 25th, MFWP set up over a mile of fladry around a calving pasture in the 8-Mile pack’s territory in Paradise valley.  The wolves have been frequenting this area and the producer had started calving.  Cracker shells were also issued and the producer will randomly fire these off during his night checks.  The producer has also reported seeing a mangy collared wolf sleeping in his haystacks. The collar does not seem to be working.  On the 30th MFWP/MT WS euthanized a mangy wolf seeking refuge in a hay barn in Paradise Valley, MT.  The collar was not working but the serial number indicated it was once a member of the Swan Lake pack (205M).

MT WS killed a wolf on private land on the 30th in Big Sheep Creek southwest of Dillon, MT.  A calf was confirmed killed by wolves in the area on Dec. 20th and WS was authorized to remove 1 wolf at that time.  The wolf was paired up with collared wolf SW64M and both were found traveling together that morning a quarter mile from a neighboring ranch to the one that had the depredation in December.  Control is now finished and the landowner's shoot-on-site permit was cancelled.  After MT WS shot the wolf on the 30th, they investigated the area further and confirmed 2 young ewes killed and 1 probable in the area where the wolves were located.  The damage had occurred in the days prior to the control action.  No further action will be taken at this time but SW64M will continue to be monitored and will be removed if further problems persist.

On the 30th, ID WS investigated a report that wolves killed a cow in a private corral near Darlington, ID.  Despite the producer's insistence that wolves killed the cow, all indicators showed that coyotes lightly fed on the cow's carcass after it died from natural causes other than predation.  There was no sign that wolves were involved.

Research

Nothing new to report.

Information and Education and Law Enforcement

10j rule published- On the 28th, the 10j rule modification for the experimental population areas of central Idaho and Yellowstone was published in the Federal Register [73 FR 4720-4736].  It, the peer reviews of the proposal, literature cited, and the FONSI/EA are posted at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov.  The rule goes into effect on February 27th, 30 days after its publication.  Litigation and a 60-day notice were filed by a coalition of seven environmental/animal rights groups.  That information is also posted on our website.

MFWP extended the public comment period on its proposal to establish a wolf hunting season contingent upon federal delisting to Feb. 13.  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.  MFWP has been reviewing public comment received to date.  Comments received by Feb. 1 will be forwarded to the Commission in advance of their meeting on Feb. 20th.  Comments received between Feb. 1 and Feb. 13 will also be reviewed by MFWP prior to the Commission meeting, will be considered in MFWP's presentation to the Commission, and will be provided to the Commission at their meeting.

MFWP and the Blackfoot Challenge co-hosted an evening dinner (cooked by the Blackfoot Cattlewomen) at the Helmville, MT Community Center on Jan. 31st.  Jonkel (MFWP) and Wilson (Blackfoot Challenge) gave grizzly bear updates and Bradley (MFWP) gave a presentation on wolf ecology and management in the Blackfoot.  About 100 people attended.

USFWS Special Agent Scott Kabasa and Holyan [NPT] attempted to investigate the mortality signal of Spirit Ridge pack wolf B339.  Due to deep, untracked snow, they were unable to reach the site.  A future effort will be made when snowmobiling conditions may allow easier access.

Mack, Keith Lawrence (NPT Wildlife Program director), and Mike Lopez (NPT Office of Legal Counsel) met with members of IDFG (Nadeau), the IDFG Commission (Gary Power), and the ID Governor's Office of Species Conservation (Jeff Allen) on the 30th to discuss Idaho’s state Wolf Population Management Plan.
IMPORTANT CONTACT INFORMATION- Mike Jimenez’s [WY FWS] old phone number at (307) 330-5620 is no longer a working line due to the phone company cancelling all their analog phones.  Mike Jimenez can be reached at (307) 330-5631 and his FAX number as: (307)733-7096.

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