From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 9/18/98

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Weeks of 9/12-9/18, 1998

 

Monitoring

Packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana areas appear to be in their normal home ranges. The Thorofare wolf was found 5-10 miles north of Togwatee Pass on 9/16. It is getting to be that time of year and it is expected that an increasing pattern of movement and/or disperse by yearling wolves will begin to occur. The location of the other 4 uncollared Thorofare wolves is unknown.

The Nez Perce Tribe will be trapping and radio-collaring wolf pups in several Idaho Packs through the end of September.

The NW Montana field crew is attempting to trap wolves in Glacier National Park. Trapping efforts will continue through mid-October.

 

Control

Control (trapping) ended on the Moyer Pack and Jureano packs in central Idaho without any more wolves being moved.

 

A calf, near Stanley was reported as a possible wolf-kill. WS investigation indicated that it had been fed on by predators, possibly a wolf. A wolf had been seen in the area. However, it was definitely not killed by predators. These cattle had apparently gotten out on the road a week ago and another calf was killed by a vehicle. This most recent calf had bruising on its neck and head, indicating it too may have been stuck by a vehicle but not directly killed. The livestock producer buried the carcass so predators would not be attracted to the area.

The Service crew on the Diamond G Ranch found a calf carcass on 9/12 (where ravens had been seen the previous day). It had been fed on by both a grizzly bear and a wolf. Wildlife Services State Director Phillips investigated on 9/13 and the calf had been shot in the head, possibly by a 44 caliber bullet. Ranch manager reportedly stated that he had found a few other cattle that have been shot in past years. A large grizzly bear killed another bull on the ranch this week. Wyoming biologists are attempting to snare and move him. Trapping in an attempt to radio-collar and release a black wolf that has been seen in the area was unsuccessful and efforts terminated on the 18th. The field crew left the area on 9/18 but will return if any wolf depredations occur.

 

Research

Nothing new to report.

 

I&E

Please help with wolf monitoring efforts by reporting suspected wolf observations. Reclassification, and the resulting increased management flexibility that would result from a threatened status depends upon the number of documented breeding pairs. PLEASE REPORT WOLF SIGHTINGS ASAP. THANKS!!

The Service's two wolf biologists positions in Lander, WY have closed. Because of the large volume of applications (about 150), selections will likely not be made until November 1998.

The GS-9 biologist position in Helena, Montana is being advertised (announcement #DD0897PN) and the GS-7 technician in Helena (DD0947CA) just opened. Applications and information can be obtained at www.usajobs.opm.gov These jobs will only be advertised on the OPM register since they are both term positions. Information was mailed out to everyone who previously contacted the Service about the WY jobs on Sept. 11. No further mailings will take place. Hopefully the jobs will be filled by December.

Final oral arguments on the Diamond G Ranch court case have been rescheduled for late September.

Wolf issues were covered in stories by Sumio Harada for the August and September 1998 editions of the Japanese magazine "Sinra." Since the stories are in Japanese we don't havea clue what they say but the photos are great. Doug Shelly and Joe Fontaine were featured.

The newest book "The Loop" by Nichols Evans, who wrote mega-bestseller "The Horse Whisperer" has just been released. The Great Falls Tribune will be the first, but probably not the last, to run a story (Sunday the 20th) combining real wolf recovery and the fictional novel.

The Tenth Annual Wolf Working Group Meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 6-8. 1999 at Chico Hot Springs. Ideas for oral presentations should be submitted to Joe Fontaine. This year abstracts will be required and they will be published and distributed at the Conference. Abstracts should be submitted by Feb 1, 1999.

The Service's weekly wolf report can now be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at http://www.r6.fws.gov/wolf in addition to the regular distribution.

Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 x204 or Internet-ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV