Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, Mt

Status of Gray Wolf Recovery Weeks 10/14- 10/30/98

Monitoring

Packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana areas appear to be in their normal home ranges. The Washakie wolf that has been regularly picked up was north of Jackson Hole then moved north again. The other Washakie wolf hasn't been found in a month. the Thorofare wolf may have been found by male #29. His last location, before he shed his collar was with them along the Park's southern boundary. We are expecting increased levels of dispersal this winter in all three recovery areas.

Follow-up of a reported wolf sighting near Phillipsburg, MT turned up tracks of one animal. Another follow up turned up tracks and scat of one animal in the Pioneer Mts east of Wisdom. We'll keep an eye on both areas as well as the Garnets in NW Montana where we recently had some other excellent reports. Thanks to those who reported wolf sign.

Service biologist field biologists Doug Shelly, Colleen Olfenbuttel, J. Oakleaf, J. Madison, and S. Lindsay ended their seasonal appointments with the Service in NW Montana. Congratulations to the crew they did an outstanding job.

Control

Some of the producers in central Idaho, who had a few confirmed losses to wolves, appear to be short far more calves than normal. The issue of higher numbers of missing livestock after wolves showed up is one that the Tribe, Wildlife Services, and Service are very interested in and would like to investigate further.

Research

Nothing new to report.

I&E

The Helena Office received several, 1,000 copies, of the 1998 Wolf Awareness Week posters. One side is a beautiful wolf print. The other side is a map and short write-up of the status of wolves in North America. If you want some please let us know- they are great for classrooms and public presentations.

John and Mary Theberge are in Yellowstone National Park for the next several weeks under the Park's visiting scholar program.

Bangs worked with Justice Attorneys to prepare a response to a request for an emergency injunction from the court that would prevent the Service from lethally controlling any livestock depredating wolves until the Appeal case is settled or their identity as reintroduced animals was proven.

Please help with wolf monitoring efforts by reporting suspected wolf observations. If you are out hunting and see wolf sign please us know! 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 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

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Weeks of